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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+ 10,310,605 100.00% 12,790,893 100.00%
Less than 9th grade 1,387,528 13.46% 1,465,420 11.46%
Some high school, no diploma 1,485,031 14.40% 1,649,141 12.89%
High school graduate* 2,640,162 25.61% 3,176,743 24.84%
Some college, no degree 2,171,439 21.06% 2,858,802 22.35%
Associate degree 531,540 5.16% 668,494 5.23%
Bachelor's degree 1,428,031 13.85% 1,996,250 15.61%
Graduate or professional degree 666,874 6.47% 976,043 7.63%

* "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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