How Much High School Graduation Rates Have Increased Over Time

Today’s high school graduation rates are the highest they’ve ever been, with 86% of all high schoolers across the United States earning their high school diploma. Programs like ‘No Child Left Behind’ have helped to increase these rates greatly since 2000. The average rates of high school students that graduated increased from 79% during the 2010–2011 school year, to 86% for the 2018–2019 school year. This 7% increase is one of the biggest seen since the early 1900s.

So what were graduation rates like back then? The list below includes the graduation rates for various years between 1900–1964 just to see how much this rate has increased during this time. After 1964 the high school graduation rates remained under 80% until the sharp rise began after 2011.

1899–1900: 6.4%

1909–1910: 8.8%

1919–1920: 16.8%

1929–1930: 29.0%

1939–1940: 50.8%

1941–1942: 51.2%

1943–1944: 42.3%

1945–1946: 47.9%

1947–1948: 54.0%

1949–1950: 59.0%

1951–1952: 58.6%

1953–1954: 60.0%

1955–1956: 62.3%

1957–1958: 64.8%

1959–1960: 65.1%

1961–19626: 9.5%

1963–1964: 76.%

Compare these rates to the high school graduation rates of today. I came across a visualisation of the highest and lowest high school graduation rates across the United States which included this map visual of the graduation rate in each state in 2019. Montana came out on top with a 94% graduation rate, while California is at the bottom with 83%.

Do you think graduation rates will continue to increase, or plateau or their current level?



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store