High school drop-out rate

High school drop-out rate falls to less than ten percent

  • Drop-out rates have declined significantly in Canada. During the 1990/1991 school year, the first year for which drop-out rates can be calculated using the Labour Force Survey, the rate was 16.6% for 20- to 24-year-olds. By 2006/2007, the drop-out rate had fallen to 9.3%, representing 205,000 people aged 20 to 24 without a high school diploma, and who were no longer attending school.

  • Dropping out is becoming less common in all parts of Canada, but the decline has been most apparent in Eastern Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Prince Edward Island, the drop-out rate over the most recent three school years averaged 9%, among the lowest in Canada, while it used to be among the highest in the early 1990s, at around 20%. Drop-out rates also fell sharply in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

  • Although drop-out rates have declined in recent years, there are still pockets where rates remain relatively high. Rural areas, for example, tend to have higher drop-out rates than urban parts of Canada. Boys are still more likely than girls to drop out.

Chart F.5
Percentage of 20 to 24 year-olds who dropped out of high school, 1990-1991 to 2006-2007

Chart F.5 Percentage of 20 to 24 year-olds who dropped out of high school, 1990-1991 to 2006-2007

Note: The drop-out rate is the proportion of 20-24-year-olds without a high school diploma and not in school. 
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.