Dropping Out in Iowa

Figure 1.1: Iowa State Total Dropouts


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For the 2014-2015 academic year, more than 90% of eligible Iowa students successfully graduated high school making it the highest performing state in the country with respect to graduation rate, and the first state in recent memory to see such results. Using publicly-available education data released by the State of Iowa, it can be seen that cities which account for just 17% of the three and a half million residents, also account for more than 30% of high school dropouts.

Table 1.1: Iowa State population and dropout rate

State Population Dropouts Dropout Rate*
Iowa 3,124,000 3684 0.12 %

Table 1.2: Cities with high dropout rates

City Population Dropouts Dropout Rate*
Cedar Rapids 129,195 149 0.12%
Davenport 102,488 176 0.17%
Des Moines 209,220 562 0.27%
Dubuque 58,436 110 0.19%
Muscatine 23,888 107 0.45%

*Dropout rate is a calculation of the percent of residents that dropped out, not eligible residents who dropped out.

While Iowa is certainly ahead of the curve with respect to overall graduation rates, the cities shown above have plenty of room improve.