In the United States, each child can receive a free education through the public school system. While free education extends through high school, students may not take full advantage of this opportunity and drop out of high school before graduation. Just 84% of those who make it to high school graduate with a diploma in four years.
Graduating high school is more than just a personal accomplishment — it also allows for more opportunities later in life, be it access to better paying jobs or to higher education. Non-high school graduates 25 and over earn a average annual salary of $23,031, roughly $7,600 below the average salary of high school graduates. And until these people finish high school or an equivalent educational program, they are unable to advance their learning any further at a college or university. College graduates 25 and over earn more than $52,000 annually, on average.
Though the high school dropout rate nationwide has steadily declined since 2000, it remains high in some communities. In a handful U.S. metropolitan areas, fewer than two-thirds of high school freshman graduate in four years. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of high school freshman who graduate within four years across U.S. metro areas to identify the 50 cities where the fewest people graduate from high school.
Click here to see the cities where the fewest people graduate high school.
Click here to see the cities where the most people graduate high school.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.