Four out of five Georgia high school students in the class of 2016 graduated on time.

Minority growth in South to drive increase in high school graduates

The number of high school graduates in the South will continue to grow through 2025 while other sections of the U.S. will see declines or modest increases in coming years.

Also, the numbers of graduates will continue to shift toward minorities mostly due to growth of those of Hispanic and Asian and Pacific descent, according to a study released by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

The U.S. set a record for the number of high school graduates in 2013, but  the U.S. average will remain flat for much of the next decade. The Northeast and Midwest will see declines, and the West will see modest growth but the South goes against that trend, the projections say. The study shows that the South had about 1.2 million graduates in 2012-13, and that will increase to more than 1.3 million by 2024-25.

The racial/ethnic mix of high school graduates in the United States will continue to shift toward a more diverse population of graduates fueled primarily by large increases in the number of Hispanic (50 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islander (30 percent) public high school graduates through about 2025. The pending national plateau is largely fueled by a decline in the White student population and counterbalanced by growth in the number of non-White public school graduates – Hispanics and Asian/ Pacific Islanders in particular. Overall, there will be consistent declines in the number of White public high school graduates and robust growth in the number of public high school graduates of color (or, technically speaking, "non-White" graduates) in the coming years.

The number of students graduating from private high schools will decline more sharply than the decreases in the overall numbers of graduates. The number of high school graduates from private religious and nonsectarian schools is projected to decline at an even greater rate than the overall trend, from 302,000 in 2011 to about 220,000 by the early 2030s – a decrease of 80,000 graduates, or 26 percent.

You can check on your school's graduation rates in the Ultimate Atlanta School Guide.

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