The national high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but one in five high school students still fails to earn a high school diploma on time.This is a crisis that ripples out to communities, states, and the national economy.

Using the map below, see the economic potential of a 90 percent high school graduation rate in your state, metropolitan area, or for the nation as a whole.

Data is also available for African American students, Latino students, American Indian and Alaskan Native students, and Asian/Pacific Islander students.

Earnings

The more you learn, the more you earn. High school graduates earn a national average of $8,000 more annually...Learn More
The more you learn, the more you earn. High school graduates earn a national average of $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts. High school graduates are also far less likely to be periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or in and out of the prison system compared to high school dropouts.

New Jobs

Addressing the high school dropout crisis is a key strategy for economic growth...Learn More
Addressing the high school dropout crisis is a key strategy for economic growth. In today’s knowledge-based economy, all students need additional education after high school if they are to secure good-paying jobs that support themselves and their families. Combined, the additional spending and investments made by these new graduates would support tremendous job growth nationwide and in their local communities.

Spending

High school graduates typically earn $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts...Learn More
High school graduates typically earn $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts. By earning more, high school graduates enjoy higher purchasing power in their local  communities. Through their increased spending, high school graduates spur economic activity for local businesses and support new jobs.

GDP Growth

As the nation continues to recover from the recent economic recession, addressing the high school dropout crisis is a key strategy...Learn More
As the nation continues to recover from the recent economic recession, addressing the high school dropout crisis is a key strategy to stimulate economic growth. If the Class of 2013 had achieved a 90 percent national high school graduation rate, the gross domestic product would increase by as much as $11.5 billion annually.

Home Sales

High school graduates reap many personal benefits, including how much they save and spend, which in turn helps grow the U.S. economy...Learn More
High school graduates reap many personal benefits, including how much they save and spend, which in turn helps grow the U.S. economy. For example, if the graduation rate for just one high school class increased to 90 percent, these new graduates, combined, would likely purchase homes totaling much more than what they otherwise would have spent without a high school diploma.

Auto Sales

If the high school graduation rate increased to 90 percent for the Class of 2013, auto sales would likely grow by as much as $800 million...Learn More
If the high school graduation rate increased to 90 percent for the Class of 2013, auto sales would likely grow by as much as $800 million over the course of those graduates’ lifetimes. That means newer and nicer cars on the highway, but it also means more dollars going into national, state, and local economies.

Federal Tax Revenue

Everyone benefits from increased high school graduation rates. The graduates themselves, on average, will earn higher wages...Learn More
Everyone benefits from increased high school graduation rates. The graduates themselves, on average, will earn higher wages and enjoy more comfortable and secure lifestyles. At the same time, the nation benefits from their higher wages in the form of higher tax receipts.

State Tax Revenue

Compared to high school graduates, high school dropouts are far more likely to be periodically unemployed, on government assistance...Learn More
Compared to high school graduates, high school dropouts are far more likely to be periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or in and out of the prison system. Lower local, state, and national tax revenues are the most obvious consequences of higher dropout rates, because even when dropouts are employed, they earn significantly lower wages than do high school graduates. If the high school graduation rate had reached 90 percent for the Class of 2013, local and state tax revenues would grow by as much as $700 million annually.

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