Special Report

Cities Where the Most People Graduate High School

High school graduation rates are on the rise in the United States. In the 2016-2017 school year, 85% of seniors graduated on time, up from 84% the previous year and 80% five years prior. 

In the United States, high school graduates are more likely to be in better health, less likely to be unemployed, and typically earn about 28% more annually than those who have not completed high school. In light of the benefits associated with a high school education, the climbing graduation rate comes as encouraging news.

While the national high school graduation rate is at its highest level in years, there are parts of the country where graduation rates far exceed the national rate. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of high school seniors who graduated on time in 382 U.S. metropolitan areas to identify the cities where the most people graduate from high school. All data on high school graduation is from 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American adults with a high school diploma are far more likely to have a secure job than those who have not completed high school. The 5.6% 2018 unemployment rate among adults 25 and older who did not complete high school is considerably higher than the 4.1% rate among adults who completed high school and did not go on to college. 

In every city on this list, the high school graduation rate for the 2016-2017 school year is over 91%. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the majority of these cities, the annual unemployment rate is lower than the 3.9% national average. 

Of course, when it comes to local and regional job markets, the educational attainment of the workforce is only part of the equation. Another important factor is whether the number of available jobs is keeping pace with the demand for work. Here is a look at the U.S. cities that have added the most jobs in the last five years

While earning a high school diploma can be critical to ensuring one’s future financial security, Americans who go on to college are even better qualified for high-paying careers. The typical college graduate in the United States earns $54,628 annually — or $23,359 more than those whose highest level of education is high school. However, high school graduates are still qualified for several high-paying careers, even some that pay more than many of those available only to college graduates. Here is a list of the highest paying jobs you can get without a college degree

It is important to not that while high school graduates typically earn more than those who have not completed high school, there are exceptions. In five of the 50 metro areas on this list, median earnings among high school graduates are lower than the annual median for those who did not complete high school.

Click here to see cities where the most people graduate high school
Click here to read our methodology

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