Friday, February 24, 2012

Educational Attainment: The Thirty Percent

Educational Attainment in the United States 2011, a new set of tables from the Census, provides some insight into historic changes in American society. The release notes a milestone:
In March 2011, for the first time, over 30 percent of the United States’ population 25 years old and older reported they had a bachelor’s or higher degree. This compares with 1998, when less than a quarter of the 25-and-older population had attained this level of education.
Women now account for a majority of college graduates:
In 2011, of the 61 million people 25 and over with bachelor’s degrees, 30 million
were men and 31 million were women. The number of women 25 and over with
bachelor’s degrees increased 37 percent in the last ten years (since 2001). The
comparable increase for men was 23 percent. 
Racial and ethnic differences persist:
Fifty percent of Asians 25 years and over reported having a bachelor’s degree or
more in 2011. This level of education was reported by 34 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 20 percent of blacks and 14 percent of Hispanics. 
As an earlier post noted, education translates into income:
People whose highest level completed was high school and had any earnings  averaged $31,000 in 2010. For those whose highest degree was a bachelor’s  degree, the average was $58,000.