What are we measuring?
The high school education rate is the percentage of county residents 25 years or older who have received a high school diploma or a general education development (GED) certificate. A GED certificate is earned by taking a battery of tests and performing at a level equal to or above 60% of high school seniors.
Why are we measuring it?
The failure of a large number of residents to earn a high school diploma has far-reaching implications. The poverty rate for dropouts is over twice as high as college grads, and the unemployment rate for dropouts is generally 4 percentage points higher than the national average. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a high school dropout can expect to earn just $20,241 annually, or $10,000 less than high school graduates and over $36,000 less than a person holding a bachelor's degree. One study has found that among dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, incarceration rates were 63 times higher than among college graduates.
How are we doing?
The percent of Fulton County residents with high school diploma and equivalent has remained above 90% and grown from 90.2% in 2010 to 92.5% in 2017. Fulton ranks fourth among its national benchmark counties.