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Drop-out rates declining, women and Atlantic provinces lead the way.

Canada's high school dropout rate has declined significantly since the early 1990s, especially in the Atlantic provinces, according to a report by Statistics Canada.

Young women have made more progress than males and the dropout rate among students living in rural and small towns remains higher than in urban areas.

The report, published in the December issue of Education Matters, uses Labour Force Survey data. A drop-out is a person aged 20-24 who is neither attending school, nor has a high school diploma. Among the findings were:

* During the 1990/91 school year, one out of every six young people in the study group, or 16.7%, was a drop-out by 2004/05, when this rate had slipped to 9.8%.

* Roughly 212,000 young people out of 2.2 million in this age group were either not attending school or had not graduated from high school by the 2004/05 school year, 37.2% lower than it was in 1990/91.

* The rates in Quebec and the Prairie provinces had averaged above 10% during the past three years, but had declined from these levels in the early 1990s, when they hovered in the 16% to 17% range.

The evidence also suggests that potential employers are less likely to hire high school dropouts. The unemployment rate among dropouts aged 20 to 24 in 2004/05 was 19.4%, double that for all others in this age group.

Dropout rates generally remain higher in rural areas and in small towns than in urban areas, especially in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta. Young men continue to experience a higher likelihood of dropping out than their female counterparts. Among the 212,000 drop-outs in 2004/05, nearly two-thirds, or 135,000, were men.
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 20, 2006
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