Dropout Info

School Dropouts Statistics

Rates of Dropping Out:
  • In 1999/2000, BC's graduation rate was 75.3%
  • One in four British Columbians lacks the basic education credential considered necessary for a career in almost any field
  • The graduation rate for Aboriginal students is only 39%, or roughly half that of their non-Aboriginal counterparts
  • These graduation rates include students who drop out and later return to complete their diploma, at an additional cost of $300 Million annually in British Columbia

Impact of Dropping Out:
  • One in seven dropouts in BC is dependent upon welfare within a year and a half of dropping out, compared with one in fifty of those who graduate
  • On average, drop-outs earn 20 percent less than high school graduates, with lost federal and provincial tax revenues of about $515 Million annually in BC alone
Costs of Dropping Out:
  • 85% of income assistance expenditures in BC (Ministry spending of $2.2 Billion in 2001) go to high school dropouts
  • 90 percent of criminal justice expenditures in BC (Ministry spending of $1.0 Billion in 2001) go to high school dropouts
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Every nine seconds a student becomes a drop-out [1].

Of those who graduate from high school, the completion rate is 72% for females and 64% for males [2].

Among ethnic groups: African-Americans have a 50% graduation rate; Latinos - 53%; Asian/Pacific Islanders - 77%; and Whites - 75% [3].

Students from low-income families drop-out at six times the rate of higher-income families [4].

75% of inmates in state prisons are drop-outs. 59% of inmates in Federal prisons are drop-outs [5].

55% of drop-outs are employed [6].

The U.S. death rate for people with less than 12 years of education is 2.5 times higher than those with 13 or more years of education [7].

The cost to the public for crime and welfare involving drop-outs is $24 BILLION annually [8].

There are 3.5 million drop-outs between the ages of 16 - 25 [9].

Total combined loss of income and taxes in one year due to drop-outs equals $192 BILLION (1.6% of the Gross Domestic Product) [10].

Arguments about our pluralistic attempt to educate all children notwithstanding - graduations rates around the world include the following: Denmark - 96%; Japan - 93%; Poland - 92%; Italy 79%; and the U.S. - 70% [11]. 



[1] Ministry of Education Annual Report: July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000. Available: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/annualreport/

[2] Ministry of Education Annual Report, Ibid

[3] Statistics provided by Bill Warburton, Director, Economic Analysis Branch, Ministry of Human Resources, 2002

[4] Statistics Canada: 2002 Average earnings of the population 15 years and over in 1995 by highest level of schooling, 1996 Census .

[5] Based on an average tax loss in BC alone of $1,056/person for 487,500 dropouts. Federal taxes lost are $344,760,000, while provincial taxes lost are $170,352,000.

[6] Statistics provided by Bill Warburton, Ibid

[7] Ministry spending amounts from Ministry of Finance 2001 British Columbia Financial and Economic Review .

[8] Statistics provided by Bill Warburton, Ibid

[9] Ministry spending amounts from Ministry of Finance, Ibid


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