Early school leaving in the care population—Differences by country of origin

Abstract

In many Western countries, children in immigrant families are considered at increased risk of experiencing social problems and marginalization and are often overrepresented in the care population. How these children fare in the educational system is crucial for their future adult life. International research over several decades has shown that many child welfare clients quit school prematurely, but less is known about their educational progress by country of origin. Based on a large‐scale longitudinal study from Norway, this article examines early school leaving between ethnic minority groups and the ethnic majority in the child welfare population. The results show substantial differences in early school leaving by country of origin, even when adjusted for any differences by gender, school grades, and parental educational level. The lowest rate of early school leaving was found among youths originating from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Pakistan, whereas youths originating from Afghanistan, South America, Morocco, Western countries, and Norway (i.e., the ethnic majority) had the highest rate of early school leaving.