High School Dropout Rates by Family Income 1972-2001

According to Radical Math, the graph below shows high school drop out rates of students aged 15 to 24 by family income from 1972-2001 for grades 10-12 in the United States. This study was produced by the United States Department of Commerce. Low Income is categorized as an income in the bottom 20% of all family incomes, middle income is categorized as a income between 20% and 80% of all family incomes, and a high income is categorized in the the top 20% of family incomes.

This graph shows that within families of lower income there are higher drop out rates compared to families with middle and low incomes. In 1972, the drop out rates among low income families was 14.1% while the drop out rate was 2.5% for high income families. In 2001, the drop out rate for low income families was 10% which decreased from 1972. In 2001, for high income families the drop out rate was 1.7%. According to this article by American Psychological Association (APA), the United States is currently in a drop out crisis. Their data in 2012 shows that 1.1 million students in the graduating class did not receive a high school diploma. Their reasoning for this is the adverse toxic stressors that are put on these students ultimately affecting their behavior and health. There is a need for solutions to improve the high school drop out rates.

5 thoughts on “High School Dropout Rates by Family Income 1972-2001

  1. As a dropout myself, I can attest to the very toxic stressors of a high school climate. Having ended up at Union despite being a – middle school dropout – I have a very different perspective of high school than most. I don’t think that high school is all that important, and in today’s society it doesn’t really deter you to not have a high school diploma. Being a high school dropout in 2018 has a completely different meaning for one’s life than it did say, 30 years ago.
    Despite this, there are still many racial and social class stereotypes that pave the way for a hateful and demeaning society to destroy any chance one might have by leaving the so normative high school. Your graph does a great job at showing the gaps between lower, middle, and higher class dropout rates. This is probably in part due to higher demand for kids to take care of things at home in lower classes while higher classes often have people on hand to mend simple everyday tasks.

  2. This graph does a great job at visually showing high school drop out rates in relation to family income. I am curious if this data takes into account family’s geographic location when determining their socioeconomic status as the cost of living differs in various areas. It is interesting that America is currently in a state of crisis concerning the high school drop out rate and I would be curious to see how that compares to other countries.

  3. I think that your graph analyzing the different dropout rates for low, medium, and high income families is very interesting. What qualifies as low, medium, or high income? Are there different reasons for dropping out of each family income level? How would this graph look in 2018?

  4. What really intrigued me about this figure is the immense decrease in drop out rates around 1973(ish). The rates dropped for all socio-economic statuses, but the drop was especially dramatic among those with a low socio-economic background. The rates dropped to comparable rates among the three categories and I am very curious what other events were occurring during that time that may have contributed.

  5. The blog is really interesting because it shows the connection between class and education in depth. The dropout rate is higher is family of low income and you showed the data and supported it with the graph. The graph really connects the whole blog as it demonstrates the difference of people of different incomes and dropout rate. The only question is how do owe great enough opportunity to change the dropout rate.

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