Monday, February 26, 2024

The United States has more working-age adults with bachelor’s degrees

The Lumina Foundation, a foundation to make learning opportunities beyond high school available to all, released its annual Stronger Nation report, which shows that the United States has more working-age adults with bachelor’s degrees.

The foundation highlighted the results of its online data visualization tool to track working-age adults with degrees and other valuable credentials and found that the national rate of educational attainment among adults aged 25 to 64 reached 54.3% in 2022, which represents a year-over-year gain of 0.6 percentage points.

The proportion of working-age adults with college degrees increased from 45.7% in 2021 to 46.5% in 2022, the most recent year available.

The number of short-term credentials remained relatively stable, with a slight decrease in industry-recognized certifications from 3.7% to 3.6% and in university certificates from 4.3% to 4.2%, resulting in 7.8% of adults with quality short-term credentials as workers.

The report says that despite the country’s lack of growth in terms of credentials in the short term, there are positive points.

“Kentucky and Rhode Island improved overall achievement by an impressive 3.4 percentage points compared to last year,” said Courtney Brown, vice president of strategic planning and impact at Lumina.

“Although people question the value of higher education, the rise in degree attainment shows that more people are investing in education, which often leads to a better quality of life. Young adults have made great strides, which bodes well for the future of the country,” Brown added.

Among adults ages 25 to 34, 56.3% have earned a quality postsecondary credential. That is an increase of 17.4 percentage points since 2009.

Degree attainment increased among all races and ethnicities: Hispanics and Latin Americans gained 1.7 percentage points between 2021 and 2022, followed by white and African American adults, who each saw an increase of 1.5 percentage points.

Lumina emphasized that significant gaps persist, however, and post-secondary educational attainment rates among adults—African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Americans—report below the national average of 46.5%. These numbers are 35.7% of African Americans, 29.5% of Hispanic and Latino adults, and 26.5% of Native Americans, based on 2022 data.

Lumina began publishing Stronger Nation in 2009. At the time, the country’s degree attainment rate was 38.1% of working-age adults. An 8.5 percentage point increase in the share of adults with bachelor’s and associate’s degrees produced significant gains.

Other additional findings:

35 states, including Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, experienced an increase in the level of education.
Adults between 25 and 34 years old had a degree attainment rate of 56.4%, compared to 54.3% of the entire working-age population of the country.
Alabama, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, all saw increases of 2 percentage points or more. The change in these numbers from one year to the next is not unusual, and there is no single explanation that justifies these changes.

In 2008, Lumina made a national call for 60% of adults in the United States to have college degrees or other quality credentials beyond high school by 2025. to satisfy the needs of the labor market and guarantee the country’s global competitiveness.

Over the past 15 years, the proportion of adults in the United States between the ages of 25 and 64 with college degrees, certificates, or industry-recognized certifications has increased from 37.9% to 54.3%.

World Nation News Desk
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