Thursday, April 30, 2009

Census Bureau Releases Data Showing Relationship Between Education and Earnings

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that workers with a bachelor's degree earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma, according to new figures that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels.

The tables also show that in 2008, 29 percent of adults 25 and older had a bachelor's degree, and 87 percent had completed high school. That compares with 24 percent of adults who had a bachelor’s degree, and 83 percent who had completed high school in 1998.

Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 is a series of tables containing data by characteristics such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, occupation, industry, nativity, citizenship status and period of entry. The tabulations also include historical data on mean earnings by educational attainment, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

In 2008, 29.4 million women and 28.4 million men 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher. Women had a larger share of high school diplomas, as well as associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. More men than women had a professional or doctoral degree.

Other highlights:

-- Workers with a high school degree earned an average of $31,286 in 2007, while those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $57,181.

-- The race and Hispanic origin data show that 53 percent of Asians in the U.S. had a bachelor's degree or more education. For non-Hispanic whites, it was 33 percent; for blacks; it was 20 percent; and for Hispanics, it was 13 percent.

-- Among younger adults (age 25-29), 88 percent had completed high school, and 31 percent had completed college. Among adults 75 and over, 73 percent had completed high school and 17 percent had completed college.

The data in Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 are from the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide.
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