SALT LAKE CITY — For the seventh consecutive year, the rate of Utah students graduating from public high school has risen, according to data released Monday by the Utah State Board of Education.

Last spring, nearly 43,500 students graduated from Utah’s district and charter high schools, which represents 87.4% who entered as freshmen four years earlier.

The state’s overall graduation rate rose by 0.4% between 2018 and 2019, but it is up by more than 3% over the past five years, according to board data.

With the exception of black, Asian and Pacific Island student groups, all other racial/ethnic groups experienced increased graduation rates in 2019. Pacific Islanders’ graduation rate fell the most, down nearly 2%.

Asian students have the state’s highest percentage rate, at 91.4%, down slightly from 92.4% in 2018. Meanwhile, the graduation rate of white students was 89.7%, up .4% from the previous year.

The state’s lowest graduation rates are among students who are economically disadvantaged, English learners and students with disabilities — 77.3%, 72.8% and 72.4%, respectively. However, there has been growth in each subgroup’s graduation rate over the past five years.

“Students who don’t graduate from high school are less likely to make a living wage, move on to post-secondary education opportunities, or be civically engaged,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson in a statement.

“Therefore, high school graduation rates are something we monitor and promote. We are proud of the efforts of our educators in helping more students graduate and applaud those who reached the 100 percent mark.”

In fact, 14 public high schools had 100% graduation rates, a mix of charter and district high schools. Last year, there were 10.

Female students in Utah had a higher graduation rate in 2019 at 89.7% compared to male students at 85.2%, which was similar to 2018 results.

Groups that made the greatest year-over-year gains were American Indians, with a 2.3% increase; English learners, up 2.5%; and students with disabilities, up 2.4%.

Utah State Board of Education spokesman Mark Peterson said some of the overall gains can be attributed to increased graduation rates among some of the state’s larger demographic groups such as Latino students and students with disabilities.

Latino students make up about 17% of Utah’s public school population and graduation rates of Hispanic/Latino student groups have steadily improved over the past five years. This year, the rate was 79.5%, up from 78.1% a year ago.

Students with disabilities comprise about 12% of Utah’s public school population. The group’s graduation rate climbed from 70% in 2018 to 72.4% in spring 2019.

“Equity is a hallmark for the board and that is something that we’re working with all the LEAs (local education agencies) on is to make sure disadvantaged students do better while not having traditional students suffer,” Peterson said.

Another factor is that all Utah high schoolers take the ACT test, which for some students has opened their eyes to the possibility of attending college. One important step toward that goal is graduating from high school.

Utah’s graduation rate is higher than the national average, according to other sources. According to the National Center for Education Statistics for 2016-17, Utah’s graduation rate — then 86% — tied or exceeded those of Rocky Mountain and Pacific states.