Census Bureau: More than one-third of U.S. adult population has bachelor’s degree

Nationally, educational attainment is increasing, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

More than one-third of the adult population in the United States has a bachelor’s degree or higher marking the first time in decades of data.

“The percentage rose to 33.4 percent in 2016, a significant milestone since the Current Population Survey began collecting educational attainment in 1940,” said Kurt Bauman, Chief of the Education and Social Stratification Branch. “In 1940, only 4.6 percent had reached that level of education.”

In 2010, less than 30 percent of those 25 and older had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, and in 2006, 28 percent had reached that level of education.

As we’ve written, our state has long been an importer of talent, making increasing the importance of boosting postsecondary educational attainment – not just bachelor’s degrees, but including other training and occupational credentials – a high priority. That’s particularly true when we consider the great number of new jobs opening up here in the next five years.

We track progress on our Achieve scorecard