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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2005

High School Dropout Rate Rises

High school dropout rates are on the rise in most provinces in Canada, according to the latest Statistics Canada survey released at the beginning of February.

Between 1997-1998 and 2002-2003, the survey says the number of people graduating from secondary schools declined in all provinces except British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Despite Alberta's improvement during the five-year period, only 66.5 per cent of students graduated from high school in 2002-2003 - the worst showing of any province.

Prince Edward Island continues to have the best record of students successfully completing their studies, although the graduation rate fell in the survey's five years from 86.5 per cent to 82.6 per cent.

The overall graduation rate in Canada, excluding Ontario, was 76.5 per cent, unchanged from 1997-1998. The gender gap remained significant, but unchanged. According to the survey, 81 per cent of female students received diplomas in 2002-2003 compared with just 70 per cent of their male counterparts.

Statistics Canada, which calculates the graduation rates in each jurisdiction by dividing the number of graduates of any given age by the total population of that age, excluded Ontario in its release because a double cohort graduated in 2002-2003 after the elimination of Grade 13.