High School graduation rates by county weighted 2014—2021 in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

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 2020 graduation rates were about the same as 2019, but in 2021 graduation rates fell. Only Sagadahoc County had a rate above 90% at 91.1%.  York and Cumberland had the next two highest rates at 89.4% and 88.5%. Three counties had graduation rates in 2021 below 80%. These were Piscataquis at 75.1%, Franklin at 76.0% and Androscoggin at 76.9%.  Besides Sagadahoc, three other counties- Aroostook, Lincoln and Waldo Counties improved their rates, while the other 12 counties had reduced graduation rates comparing 2021 to 2020.

Nationally, for the most recent year data was available, the graduation rate for 2018-2019 was 85.8%, while Maine's rate for 2018-2019 was 87.4%, so Maine's rate was higher than the national average.

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Data Provided By

Definitions: The number and percent of youth by county who graduate in 4 years from public schools and 60% publicly funded private schools. The numerator is the number of youth graduating in the state in 4 years and the denominator includes the cohort of ninth grade students 4 years prior plus all transfers in and all transfers out.

Data Source: Special data request to the Maine Department of Education for high school graduation aggregated by the county. 

Source for national comparisons
High School Grad Rates 2018- 2019

Footnotes: The year refers to the year of graduation, so 2021 is the 2020-2021 school year. In this series, the calculation is at the student level rather than the school level.  This makes it "weighted". For example, suppose a county had 3 schools, one with 300 ninth graders and two small schools with 20 ninth graders each. If 70% of the students graduated at the large school and 95% at the two other schools, the student average would be (300x70%)= 210 graduates plus 19 + 19 graduates, so the "weighted average would be 248/340 = 72.9% for the county.

The data for the series 2009 -2013 is unweighted. This means it averages all the individual school graduation rates in a county, rather than taking all the ninth graders in the county and how many of that cohort graduated 4 years later.  In the above example, the graduation rates of the three schools would be averaged (70% +95% +95%)/3 = 86.6%.  86.6% would be the unweighted average. 

Updated February 2022.