One-third of America’s 25 to 29- year-olds have completed at least a bachelor’s degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available census data. This increase has occurred despite some experts expectations of a decline in education attainment due to dramatic immigration-driven changes in the racial and ethnic composition of college-age adults. In addition to the across-the-board education attainment increase, several demographic groups have also reached record education attainment levels, including: both men and women; blacks, whites and Hispanics; and foreign-born and native-born Americans.
Other key findings from the study include:
- A record 90 percent of America’s young adults ages 25 to 29 have attained at least a high school education, with 63 percent of those going on to complete at least some college.
- According to the Gallop Organization, 75 percent of Americans agree that a college education is “very important” compared to 36 percent in 1978.
- While Hispanic and black youths still trail white and Asian youths regarding educational attainment level, all four groups are rising at a similar pace.
To turn this into a story:
- Contrast your region’s educational attainment averages to the national average. Break the data down into percentages of those who have completed high school, some college or more, and a bachelor’s degree or more to provide an accurate comparison.
- Use this report as a source for a story on the changing public attitude regarding the importance of going to college. Interview teachers, high school students, and parents in your community for quotes on the subject.
Other reporting and commentary from across the web:
- The Atlantic: The Wide Poverty Gap Between Women and Men
- Scoop: ‘Tis the Season for Donating Money
- U.S. News: Nonprofits Face Challenging End-of-Year Giving Season
- Keystone Politics: An Agenda for Fighting Income Inequality at the Local Level