Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Report Shows More Americans with High School, College Diplomas

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Report Shows More Americans with High School, College Diplomas

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

American adults are better educated, according to new Census Bureau estimates. Of Americans age 25 and older this year, a record-high 84.1 percent had at least a high school degree, up from 83.4 percent in 1999 and 24.5 percent in 1940, the earliest records available, according to the Census report released recently.

In addition, 25.6 percent of those age 25 and older have graduated from college, also a new high. It was up slightly from 25.2 percent last year. The percentage was 4.6 in 1940.

New Mexico remained below average in both categories, with 82.2 percent receiving high school diplomas and 23.6 percent receiving college degrees. Eighteen states had lower high-school graduation percentages and just 11 had lower college graduation rates.

The report is in line with other studies on Americans' educational attainment, advocates say. It typically shows about a 1 percentage point increase in degree holders each year, according to Census analysts.

The statistics were collected as part of a Census Bureau survey last March, but are not results from Census 2000.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Richard Riley has said that his department has worked with local schools and community organizations to help make college more affordable as more students recognize the importance of continuing their education beyond high school. …

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