High School Graduation Statistics

High School Graduation Statistics
June 2015
Category: Business

Graduating from high school is a huge milestone. For most teens, it is their first step into adulthood. No more homework, tests, and daily social meetings with friends. No more carefree living. Once high school is done, then real life begins with making some major life choices such as going on to college, what type of college to go to (community college, university, technical or trade school), entering the working world, joining the military, etc. There are numerous decisions to be made about the direction to go after high school. No one path is exactly correct for everyone. Each path has its benefits. Each has its sacrifices, challenges, and opportunities along the way.
Over three million students in the United States will be asking themselves these questions as they accept their diplomas from high school in 2015. Here is a look into the statistics on the high school class of 2015.
Approximately 3.3 million students are expected to graduate from high school in 2015. The national graduation rate has risen to over 88 percent and is on track to reach 90 percent by the year 2020. The graduation rate has been on an upward trend in the United States, going from 73.9% in 1985, reaching over 80% in 1993, 85% in 2004 to the current level today according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The high school graduation rate for female students was at 88.9%, compared to male students at 87.7%.
The chart above displays the rise in high school graduation rates in the United States from 1985 to 2014 and is based on the total population over the age of 25 that have attained their high school diploma.
In October 2014, 68.4% of 2014 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges, universities, trade, or technical schools in the fall. About 2 in 3 recent high school graduates who enrolled in college in the fall, were planning to attend a four year school. Those recent high school graduates that did not go onto college in the fall were twice as likely to be looking for work than those who were enrolled in college. The 2014 unemployment rate for high school graduates not enrolled in college was 28.8%.
Because the information is not readily available, we can make some assumptions based on the national averages for graduation rates, college enrollment, and workforce participation when applied to the total Central Pennsylvania (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York Counties) population of 17 and 18 year olds. The following estimates are based on a total population of 49,687 individuals between the age of 17 and 18 years old residing in Central Pennsylvania:
  •  With an average high school graduation rate of 88.31%, we could assume that there are about 43,900 students in Central Pennsylvania that will be graduating in 2015.
  • 30,000 of those students will have enrolled in college for the fall (22,510 will be enrolled in four year colleges).
  • 13,866 students will not be enrolled in college in the fall and are likely to begin their job search this summer.
  • With an average unemployment rate of 28.8% for recent high school graduates not enrolled in college, we can assume that of the 13,866 students who may be looking for work, approximately 4,000 will be unemployed. This would make the total labor force participation about 9,866.

    The heat map above displays the total Central Pennsylvania population between the ages of 17 and 18 years old by zip codes. Lighter color areas represent smaller populations, while darker areas represent larger populations. (KEY: Light tan - 0 to 141 | Light green - 141 to 367 | Dark Green - 367 to 676 | Yellow - 676 to 1,052 | Red - 1,052 to 1,680)
    In the 2012-2013 school year in the eight Central Pennsylvania counties, there were 71 regular school district (not including charter schools and career/technical schools) with a total enrollment of 254,490 students. The annual growth rate in enrollment was calculated over a 10 year time frame from 1993 to 2013. Out of the top ten school districts (based on annual growth rate percentage), four of the districts are located in York County and include: #1.) Central York School District; #2.) Northeastern York School District; #6.) York Suburban School District; #7.) Dallastown Area School District.
    The following chart displays the top ten school districts in Central Pennsylvania by annual growth rate percentage and total school district enrollment in the 2012-2013 school year.
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