Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that nationwide in 2010, 66.1 percent of Black students who entered high school four years earlier earned their diplomas. For Whites, the nationwide high school graduation rate was 83.0 percent. For Asian Americans, the high school graduation rate was 93.5 percent.
But there is a wide discrepancy in the graduation rates for Black students from state to state. In 2010, the graduation rate for Black students in Vermont and North Dakota was 100 percent. But there were only 119 Black graduating students in Vermont and 136 Black graduating students in North Dakota.
In states with a significant number of Black students, Arizona had the highest Black student graduation rate at 81 percent. In Colorado, Kentucky, and Tennessee, the Black high school graduation rate was at least 75 percent.
The lowest Black student graduation rate was in the state of Nevada. There, only 46.7 percent of Black students graduated from high school in four years. In Michigan, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia, all of which have large percentages of Black students, the high school graduation rate for Blacks was 59 percent.
The Black student high school graduation rate was higher than the White rate in the states of Arizona, Maine, Vermont, and North Dakota. In some states the racial gap in favor of White students was huge. For example, in Iowa, 88 percent of the White students graduated from high school in four years compared to 60.7 percent of Black students. In Wisconsin, the White student graduation rate was 95.6 percent, while the Black student graduation rate was 66 percent.