High School Graduation estimates the percentage of incoming ninth graders who graduate within 4 years and are considered regular graduates. The National Center for Education Statistics collects enrollment and completion data and estimates the graduation rate for each state. The rate is the number of graduates divided by the estimated count of freshmen 4 years earlier. This estimated count of freshmen is the sum of the number of 8th graders 5 years earlier, the number of 9th graders 4 years earlier and the number of 10th graders 3 years earlier, divided by 3. Enrollment counts also include a proportional distribution of students not enrolled in a specific grade. The 2013 ranks are based on 2009 to 2010 school year data. Due to item non-response, data for Connecticut was imputed for 2009–10 and data for California and Nevada were imputed for 2008–09. Imputations are based on prior year rates.
Education is a vital contributor to health as people must be able to learn about, create, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Education can also help facilitate more effective health care visits as patients must be able to understand and participate in their care for optimal results. The connection between education and health has been well documented and spans almost all health conditions. Educational attainment is also a strong predictor of overall adult health and life expectancy. Education is strongly tied to higher earnings, which is associated with lower rates of uninsurance, allowing for greater access to quality health care. The breadth of health determining factors which education affects is so large that investments in education have the potential to improve health and save more lives than medical advances. Each additional year of education is associated with an increase in many health promoting behaviors, and policies aimed at increasing education levels could have tremendous impacts on health. Increasing educational attainment in a population has been shown to improve the health status of the population.
The high school graduation rate varies from more than 90.0 percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within 4 years in Wisconsin and Vermont to less than 58.0 percent in Nevada. The national average is 78.2 percent, compared to 75.5 percent in the 2012 Edition, an increase in the high school graduation rate of 4.0 percent.
 Peerson A. Health literacy revisited: What do we mean and why does it matter? Health Promot Internation. 2009;24(3):285.
 Ross CE. The links between education and health. Am Sociol Rev. 1995:719.
 Molla MT, Madans JH, Wagener DK. Differentials in Adult Mortality and Activity Limitation by Years of Education in the United States at the End of the 1990s. Population and Development Review. 2004;30(4):625-46.
 Woolf SH. Giving everyone the health of the educated: An examination of whether social change would save more lives than medical advances. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(4):679.
 Cutler DM, Lleras-Muney A. Education and health: Evaluating theories and evidence. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research; 2006.
 Lleras-Muney A. The relationship between education and adult mortality in the United States. The Review of Economic Studies. 2005;72(1):189.2005;72(1):189.
The measures tracked by America's Health Rankings are those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For a state to improve the health of its population, efforts must focus on these measures, these determinants of health.
|District of Columbia||0||59.9||View Actions|
|New Hampshire||7||86.3||View Actions|
|New Jersey||6||87.2||View Actions|
|New Mexico||48||67.3||View Actions|
|New York||35||76.0||View Actions|
|North Carolina||32||76.9||View Actions|
|North Dakota||3||88.4||View Actions|
|Rhode Island||33||76.4||View Actions|
|South Carolina||47||68.2||View Actions|
|South Dakota||18||81.8||View Actions|
|West Virginia||28||78.3||View Actions|