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The Census reports on the level of education attained by adults age 25 and older. Our elderly population grew up in a time when education attainment was typically lower, and college attendance was less widespread. As this population is succeeded by younger and increasingly well-educated cohorts, the percent of the population that has attained higher levels of education slowly increases. Not only has the number of diplomas and degrees increased, but their percentage in the population has also increased, indicating a growth in attainment greater than the relative growth in national population.

Educational Attainment in Population 25 Years and Over, 1990-2000
1990 2000
Number Percent of Total Number Percent of Total
Total Population Age 25+ 2,764,842 100.00% 3,255,062 100.00%
Less than 9th grade 160,308 5.80% 164,525 5.05%
Some high school, no diploma 273,446 9.89% 268,216 8.24%
High school graduate* 630,174 22.79% 673,835 20.70%
Some college, no degree 529,751 19.16% 623,759 19.16%
Associate degree 148,342 5.37% 163,442 5.02%
Bachelor's degree 586,602 21.22% 748,970 23.01%
Graduate or professional degree 436,219 15.78% 612,315 18.81%

* "High school graduate" includes people with the G.E.D. and similar equivalents.

Source: Census 2000 analyzed by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN).

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