School attendance is compulsory nationwide through at least the age of 16, and as high as 18. For this reason, the vast majority of the nation’s adults have graduated from high school. Still, students dropping out when they reach the legal age means there are some differences between states in high school attainment rates.
In Dallas, 84.4% of adults have a high school diploma, below the national share of 87.1% but above the Texas statewide share of 82.2%. Compared to other cities, Dallas ranks 61st lowest among the more than 380 U.S. metropolitan areas, but 11th highest among the state’s 25 metro areas.
Although there are many exceptions, areas with low high school attainment rates tend to have fewer college graduates. In Dallas, 33.4% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, above the national share of 30.6% and the statewide share of 28.4%. The college attainment rate of adults in Dallas is third highest in the state.
High school dropouts are more likely to struggle to find jobs that pay well and are more likely to live in poverty. At the same time, people living in poverty are more likely to drop out of school. In Dallas, 13.5% of adults live in poverty compared to the Texas poverty rate of 15.9% and the national rate of 14.7%.