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Census: Record 37.9% of adult population in the United States has a bachelor’s degree or higher

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by Calculated Risk on 3/27/2022 12:23:00 PM

This was released last month by the Census Bureau: Census Bureau Releases New Educational Attainment Data

In 2021, the highest level of education of the population age 25 and older in the United States was distributed as follows:

o 8.9% had less than a high school diploma or equivalent.

o 27.9% had high school graduate as their highest level of school completed.

o 14.9% had completed some college but not a degree.

o 10.5% had an associate degree as their highest level of school completed.

o 23.5% had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree.

o 14.4% had completed an advanced degree such as a master’s degree, professional degree or doctoral degree.
emphasis added

This graph shows the number of adults, 25 years and older, with less than high school education, high school or some college, and a bachelor’s degree or higher since 1940.

The trend towards more education has been ongoing, and there are now only 20 million adults without a high school education. There are about 120 million with a high school education or some college.
And a record 85 million with bachelor’s degree or higher.
The second graph shows the same data as a percent of the population.
In 1940, about 76% of the adult population (over 25) had less than a high school education. That has declined to less than 9% now.
And in 1940, only 4.6% of the population had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Now that is at a record 37.9%.
More education is one of the reasons I’ve argued the Future is Bright!
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