White high school graduation rates by state were typically higher than Black high school graduation rates, a trend that is consistent over America’s history. Many public schools saw an increase in graduation rates after reductions to workloads and exam requirements that resulted from the 2020 pandemic. Still, there exist notable disparities in graduation rates between African Americans and Caucasians in America’s public schools.
The key trends in white high school graduation rates are that the largest gap exists in the Midwest between White and Black graduates. Tennessee and New Jersey are the only states where Black male graduate rates are over 70 percent with males alone. Maine has a significantly high graduation rate for Black males, while Nevada has the lowest graduation rate for males. Alaska has a high graduation rate for Latino males but is average when it comes to graduation rates for Blacks.
In America, another key trend impacting graduation rates are discipline rates, which are higher among Black students than their Caucasian peers. African Americans also have less access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses than their white peers as well. This results in lower confidence for outlook after graduation, and a decrease in motivation to succeed in their high school years.
Math and reading scores are typically good indicators of this, with gaps between Blacks and White scores being as high as 26 points at the eighth-grade reading level, and 32 point gaps in mathematics.
Schools and districts with more access to social resources, athletics, and other confidence-building tools can help to overcome these literacy and numeracy trends to help Blacks stay in school and improve graduation rates nationally.
Attained High School or Higher
High School or Higher
|District of Columbia||98.24%||218,186||222,100|