NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Hispanic Youths Avoiding Schools

October 11, 2002

The proportion of Hispanics ages 16 to 19 who dropped out or never attended high school surged by more than 50 percent in the 1990s, according to Census Bureau data. The trend was particularly noticeable in the South and West.

  • In 2000, approximately 1.56 million U.S. residents ages 16 to 19 were not high school graduates and not enrolled in school.
  • Of that total, nearly 34 percent were Hispanic -- up from 22 percent in 1990.
  • During the 1990s, the U.S. Hispanic population grew to 35.3 million.
  • Nationally, dropout rates among all 16- to 19-year-olds decreased slightly over the decade.

Although leaders of some Hispanic organizations blamed the dropout increase on lack off bilingual education in small school districts that can't afford the extra cost, Census Bureau analysts call attention to the trend among some Hispanic youths not to register for school to begin with.

Meanwhile, the dropout rate among 16- to 19-year-old blacks during the decade fell from 14 percent to 12 percent.

Source: Associated Press, "Hispanic Dropouts Increase 50 Percent in '90s," Washington Times, October 11, 2002.


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