Classrum. File photo: Katarzyna Korza/TT

Class biggest factor behind school dropout rates

High school dropout rates are the same among immigrant and Swedish-born students, according to a new report from three central Swedish counties which shows that, as long as a pupil is not a very recent immigrant, social and economic factors decide whether or not he or she manages to complete high school (gymnasium) and then potentially make it to university.

The Liberal Party's Carina Johansson is a board member for the Östsam group of counties. she says the “most unlucky” combination is a child supported by a low-educated single parent who is on poverty wages or social benefits and lives in a rental apartment within a social housing project.

Students’ ethnic background was found to be irrelevant when social and economic factors are taken into account.

Analyst Fredrik Sunnergren says: ”We see in this study that immigrants do not do worse in school than Swedish-born pupils.”

The counties in the Östsam region are Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro and Östergötland. Dropout rates vary from 10 to 37 percent among the counties’ local municipalities.

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