A high school diploma or its equivalent is a prerequisite for many entry-level jobs and necessary for the pursuit of postsecondary education. Therefore, the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent is one indicator that a person has acquired the basic academic, social, and other life skills needed to function in today's society. Persons who graduated from high school tend to have better economic and life outcomes than their peers who did not graduate.46 Therefore, it is important to measure the percentage of young adults ages 18–24 with a high school diploma or equivalent and investigate how this percentage varies across time and for different groups of students.
NOTE: Diploma equivalents include alternative credentials obtained by passing examinations such as the General Educational Development (GED) test. This figure excludes those still enrolled in high school or enrolled in a lower education level. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget classifies some counties as within a metropolitan statistical area. The remaining counties are considered nonmetropolitan. Nonmetropolitan counties include counties in micropolitan statistical and rural areas. Total includes those whose household metropolitan status was "not identified," which is not separately shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, School Enrollment Supplement.
46 Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.) High school graduation [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-health/interventions-resources/high-school-graduation