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These States Have the Lowest Graduation Rates in the U.S.

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The U.S. is graduating more of its high school students than ever, but one in five students still fails to get a diploma each year — with D.C., Oregon and New Mexico posting the worst graduation rates in the country, according to new numbers.

The Education Department released new numbers Thursday showing that the 2012-2013 graduation rate had reached a high 81%, one percentage point higher than the year before and two higher than 2010-11 — the first year standardized graduation rates were ranked. The education department cited efforts promoting greater accountability among schools and initiatives to decrease dropout rates.

MORE: High School Seniors Lagging in Math and Reading, Report Card Shows

The numbers, however, are not broken down by race, gender or income, but they are split up by state. Iowa led the nation with a 90% graduation rate, followed by Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin with 88% rates. The District of Columbia was last with 62%, alongside Oregon (69%) and New Mexico (70%).

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