A U.S. Education Department study says the high school graduation rate nationally is the highest since 1976, but more than a fifth of students fail to get a diploma in four years.
The study released on Tuesday says that across the U.S. the dropout rate for male students was 3.8 percent. For females, it was 2.9 percent.
The dropout rate was higher among males in every state. The percentage gap between male and female dropouts ranged from lows of 0.2 percentage points in Idaho to highs of 1.7 in Connecticut and Rhode Island
Officials said the steady rise of students completing their education is a reflection of the struggling economy and a greater competition for new jobs.
The national dropout rate was about 3 percent overall, down from the year before.
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