5.10 High School Dropouts

This page includes data that provide two perspectives on students dropping out of high school. The first data set is from the U.S. Census Bureau and includes the idle teen rate. The idle teen rate is the percentage of the population ages 16 to 19 that are currently not enrolled in school and not in the labor force. Whether they are high school dropouts or high school graduates not going to college, being without a job or any job prospects makes idle teens economically vulnerable. The second data set, from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), includes the high school dropout rate. The high school dropout rate is the percentage of a four-year cohort of public high school students who either exit high school or fail to re-enroll without graduating, transferring to another school or approved education program, or taking an approved temporary leave of absence due to suspension, expulsion, illness, or death. High school dropouts are less likely to have the minimum skills and credentials needed to function in society and are more likely to live in poverty and require government assistance.


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Information System for Education Data Dashboard
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates


Idle teens do not include teenagers who are actively looking for work. County-level data from DPI are aggregated from data at the school district level based on the county assigned to each district by the National Center for Education Statistics.