Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In 10 short years the US has gone from being #1 in college attainment (age 24 to 34) to 14th compared to the rest of the developed world. What happened? See the numbers here!

Below are historical data on the percentage of the population of select developed countries that have attained at least a bachelors degree.  I high-lighted in yellow the year and age group I was interested in.  The US is high-lighted in BLUE-ish at the bottom.

In 2001 the 29.9% of the US population, age 25 to 34, had attained at least a bachelors degree.  That percentage ranks #1 on the list in 2001.  Look at that again!  WhooHooo!  Our percentage is statistically much larger than the closest countries.

Fast forward just 10 years to 2011.  The US percentage increased to 33% for that age group BUT now we rank 14th.  Look at that again! Whoo, ummm, Whoops.  Our percentage is statistically much SMALLER than many that are ahead of us

If you look at 2007 (just prior to the recession that started in Dec 2007), same age group, the US falls to 7th place BUT the percentages are statistically small and not that much above he US.  An inflection point, it seems.

The countries ahead of the US appear to have done a better job in getting students through college during the downturn.

What lesson can we learn from this??
Source: National Center for Educational Statistics
The National Center for Educational Statistics have some really terrific data on a wide variety of education related topics. Check it out!
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