High School graduation rates by race and ethnicity in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

All youth deserve to have access to a quality education. Historically, there have been racial disparities in graduation rates due to many factors, including structural inequality, systemic racism and implicit bias.  Students who graduate from high school have higher wages, lower unemployment and are less likely to need public assistance than those who do not graduate. Their long-term physical and mental health is also better if they graduate from high school.

What the data shows

The 2021Maine high school graduation rates within 4 years declined from 87.4% to 86.1%, the lowest rate since 2016. The Black/African American student rate fell 7 percentage points from 83.1% to 75.9%, the Non-Hispanic white rate fell from 87.8% to 86.9%; and the Asian rate fell from 94.8% to 91.3%. Hispanics and students of two or more races did not experience a decline in graduation rates.

Comparing Maine to the nation, the latest data is 2019. For the United States, the 2019 rate of graduation was 74.3% for Native American, 79.6% for Black/African American, 81.7% for Hispanic, 89.4% for White, and 92.6% for Asian students. Maine's high school graduation rate in 2019 was higher for Asian at 94.1%, for Native American at 78.5%, and Hispanic at 82.3% and slightly lower for Non-Hispanic white students at 87.9%, and Black/African American at 80.3%. 

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Data Provided By

Definitions: The percent of youth who graduate in 4 years from public schools and 60% publicly funded private schools.  Race & ethnicity is self reported at each high school and is compiled at the state level.
The numerator is the number of students of a particular race who graduated from high school in 4 years and the denominator is the number of students who  started high school 4 years earlier.

Data Source: Data Sources: 
Maine Dept. of Education Data Warehouse
State Graduation Rates by Race and Ethnicity 2018-2019


Footnotes: This data looks at a cohort of students who began ninth grade 4 years prior to see if they graduated within 4 years. Some students graduate in 5 years and 6 years and this is still a good outcome, but this is not included in the measure. For example, in 2021, 73.1% of American Indian students graduated in 4 years, but 82.4% graduated in 6 years. For Black students in 2021, 75.9% graduated in 4 years, but 87.6% in 5-years.

Note that data from prior years have been updated to reflect Maine DOE's most recent results back to 2021.

Updated January 2022.