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American Education Statistics

Are you more or less educated than the average American? Lets find out.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, on average 85.5% of Americans 25 or older have completed high school or equivalent (GED). The highest rates of completion were in Alaska, Minnesota, and Wyoming (in that order). All had over 90% completion rates. The lowest rates of completion were in Mississippi (77.3%), Kentucky (77.6%), Texas (78.7%), West Virginia (79.4%), Alabama (79.5%), and Louisiana (79.9%).

The U.S. Census Bureau did not have statistics available for trade schools or associates degrees, although the Sessions Online School of Design stated that 34% of Americans have an associates degree.

For people 25 and up, the U.S. Census Bureau stated that 27% of Americans have a bachelor's degree. The highest rates of attainment were in the District of Columbia (47.7%) and Massachusetts (37.4%). The lowest rates were in West Virginia (16.3), Arkansas (18.1%), Mississippi (18.9%), and Kentucky (19%). Note that Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kentucky also had the lowest rates of high school attainment.

Finally, the U.S. Census Bureau's statistics for people over 25 years of age relate that less than 10% have advanced degrees of any type (masters, PhD, etc). The highest rates were again in the District of Columbia (26%) and Massachusetts (15%). The lowest were South Dakota (5.9%), West Virginia (6.1%), Arkansas (6.1%), North Dakota (6.2%), and Mississippi (6.4%).

So lets review:
  • On average, 85% of Americans have completed high school, 34% of Americans have completed an associates degree, 27% of Americans have completed a bachelors degree, and 10% have completed post-graduate degree.
  • Southern states such as Mississippi have the least educated populations.
Here is a final interesting fact from the Jewish Theological Seminary. 58% of Jews in America have college degrees, making Jews one of the most educated ethnic groups in the United States.

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