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Latino Daily News

Thursday June 9, 2011

Proportionately More Young Hispanic Adults Getting HS Diplomas, Fewer Dropping Out Than Decade Ago

Proportionately More Young Hispanic Adults Getting HS Diplomas, Fewer Dropping Out Than Decade Ago

Photo: More Young Hispanics Getting HS Diploma

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Proportionately more young Hispanic adults are completing high school and fewer are dropping out than were doing so a decade ago, according to an analysis of enrollment trends by the U.S. Census Bureau. Among Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds, 22 percent were not enrolled in high school and lacked a high school diploma or equivalent in 2008, compared with 34 percent in 1998.

These statistics come from a new analysis, School Enrollment in the United States: 2008, which examines a number of trends among the U.S. population enrolled in school. The analysis focuses particularly on the issue of enrollment below modal grade, resulting from students being held back or made to repeat a grade.

Among Hispanics who had been enrolled in high school in October 2007, 5 percent reported being out of school with no diploma or equivalent in October 2008, compared with 6 percent for blacks. The percentage for non-Hispanic whites was 2 percent, and for Asians it was 4 percent. The percentage of Asians who left school without a high school diploma is not statistically different from the percentage of non-Hispanic whites, blacks and Hispanics.

Fourteen million Hispanics were enrolled in schools at all levels in 2008 out of a total enrollment of 76 million students across the United States. The Hispanic portion of all students (18 percent in 2008) increased by 5 percentage points from a decade earlier (13 percent in 1998).

Nineteen percent of students ages 6 to 17 were enrolled at a grade level that is lower than the typical grade for their age in 2008, often referred to as “below modal grade.” The below modal grade rate for Hispanic students was the same as for the white-alone, non-Hispanic population.

In 2008, 22 percent of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds were not enrolled in high school and lacked a high school diploma or equivalent. The corresponding percentages for non-Hispanic whites were 6 percent, blacks were 13 percent and Asians were 4 percent. The percentage of non-Hispanic white and Asian adults who were not enrolled and lacked a high school diploma or equivalent were not statistically different in 2008.

The percentage of Asians who were not enrolled and lacked a high school diploma in 2008 is not statistically different from the percentage in 1998. The decrease from 1998 to 2008 in the percent who were not enrolled and lacked a high school diploma or equivalent was 12 percent for Hispanics, 3 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 4 percent for blacks and 1 percent for Asians (not statistically significant from zero). The only decrease that was significantly different from the other race groups was the Hispanic decrease.

Statistics for this analysis were collected in the October 2008 Supplement to the Current Population Survey.