Hispanic high school dropouts are much less likely than white or black high school dropouts to attain a General Educational Development (GED) credential, according to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The GED is widely regarded as the best "second chance" pathway to college, vocational training and military service for adults who do not graduate high school. Just one-in-ten Hispanic high school drop-outs has a GED credential. By contrast, two-in-ten black high school drop-outs and three-in-ten white high school drop-outs has a GED, according to an analysis of newly-available educational attainment data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The relatively low level of GED credentialing among Hispanic high school dropouts is especially notable because Hispanics have a much higher high school dropout rate than do blacks or whites. Some 41% of Hispanics ages 20 and older in the U.S. do not have a regular high school diploma, versus 23% of comparably aged blacks and 14% of whites.
Among Hispanics, there are significant differences between the foreign born and the native born in high school diploma attainment rates and GED credentialing rates. Some 52% of foreign-born Latino adults are high school dropouts, compared with 25% of the native born. And among Hispanic dropouts, some 21% of the native born have a GED, compared with just 5% of the foreign born.
The report also analyzes labor market outcomes of Hispanic adults based on whether they dropped out of high school and lack a GED; have a GED; or obtained at least a regular high school diploma. Among the key findings, in 2008, Hispanic adults with a GED had a higher unemployment rate than Hispanic adults with a high school diploma - 9% versus 7%. However, Hispanic full-time, full-year workers with a GED had about the same mean annual earnings ($33,504) as Hispanic full-time, full-year workers with a high school diploma ($32,972).
The report, "Hispanics, High School Dropouts and the GED", authored by Richard Fry, Senior Research Associate, Pew Hispanic Center, is available at the Pew Hispanic Center's website,www.pewhispanic.org.