New York Map Reveals Areas With Most High School Dropouts

A map shows which counties in New York have the highest percentage of high school dropouts.

Newsweek analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracked the number of residents ages 25 and over with at least a high school diploma to determine which of New York’s 62 counties had the highest percentage of dropouts.

Three of the counties with the highest percentage of dropouts are in New York City and among the state’s most populous.

Bronx County, which has a population of more than 1.3 million, topped the list with 24.3 percent of residents without a high school diploma.

Queens County, the state’s second-most populous with more than 2.2 million people, had 17.2 percent. Kings County, the most populous county, was third with 16.1 percent. Two much smaller counties—Yates and Seneca—also had a high percentage of residents without at least a high school diploma, with 15.7 percent.

Most of the counties with the lowest number of high school dropouts were rural ones with populations of less than 200,000.

Tompkins County had the least, with just 3.4 percent of residents not having at least a high school diploma. That was followed by Saratoga County with 4.9 percent, Ontario County with 5.2 percent, Madison County with 5.9 percent and Putnam County with 6.1 percent.

New York had a high school graduation rate of 86.4 percent in 2023—down slightly from the previous year’s rate of 87 percent, according to data released by the state Education Department in March.

The department noted that many of the students graduating in 2023 entered high school in 2019 and saw their schooling disrupted significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsweek analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which tracked the number of residents aged 25 and over with at least a high school diploma, to determine which of New York’s 62 counties…

The state has seen its graduation rate increase by 7.3 percent over the past decade, according to the department.

The 2023 data showed there were significant disparities in the students who graduated. White students had a graduation rate of 91 percent, while it was 81 percent for Black students and Hispanic students. Students with disabilities had a graduation rate of 68 percent, those who were homeless were at 69 percent and those in foster care 51 percent.

Spokesperson JP O’Hare said the department hopes that implementing changes recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures will help improve outcomes for all students, including the most vulnerable.

“The recommendations will help us create a more inclusive learning environment while maintaining rigor and enhancing critical thinking skills, putting all students on a trajectory for success and ensuring they’re prepared for college, career, and civic readiness in the 21st century and beyond,” O’Hare said in March.

New York and other states are working to help children recover from the learning setbacks as a result of the pandemic. Experts have warned that some children may never catch up on their schooling, and rates of chronic absenteeism have shot up in recent years.

Jennifer Lansford, a research professor of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, previously told Newsweek that students who end up dropping out of high school could face adverse ramifications well into adulthood.

“The long-term consequences of dropping out of high school can be very negative for individuals who drop out, their families, and society as a whole,” Lansford said.

She pointed to research that she and colleagues carried out using data from children that were followed from age 5 to 27.

That research found that individuals who dropped out of high school were nearly four times more likely to be receiving government assistance; were twice as likely to have been fired two or more times; and were more than three times more likely to have been arrested since age 18.