Effective dropout rate by grade


Measure the likelihood of a student to drop out from that grade in the same year or after repeating the grade one time or more.

Data source

School register, school survey or census.

Calculation method

The effective dropout rate from a given grade is determined by subtracting the effective promotion rate for that grade from 100 in the given school year.

Data required

Effective promotion rate by grade or enrolment and repeaters by grade for year t and t+1 and new entrants (or enrolment and repeaters) by grade for year t+1.


A low value of the effective dropout rate indicates a high share of pupils continuing their education in the next grade regardless of how many years they repeat. A high value of the effective dropout rate indicates problems in the education system.


Given that this indicator is usually estimated using cohort analysis models that are based on a number of assumptions (e.g. the observed flow rates will remain unchanged throughout the cohort life), their values need to be used with caution. Care should also be taken in calculating the indicator at sub-national level or for countries characterized by high levels of immigration because of possible pupils’ transfers, which might generate negative values of the indicators. Additionally, because the number of promotees between grades is determined indirectly by subtracting repeaters from enrolment, this indicator can be distorted by incorrect distinction between new entrants and repeaters.


To measure the share of students enrolled in a given grade who will effectively drop out from that grade in the same year or after repeating the grade one time or more.

Quality standards

The quality of the effective dropout rate depends on the reliability of the effective promotion rate and thus on the reliability of data on enrolment and repeaters. Its quality is generally affected by the inconsistencies between data by grade (enrolment and repeaters) of two consecutive years.

Types of disaggregation

By sex and by level of education.