30% of U.S. adults have bachelor’s degree

More than 30 percent of U.S. adults hold bachelor’s degrees, the highest level ever, reports the Census Bureau. Women are on the brink of surpassing men in educational attainment.

As of last March, 30.4 percent of people over age 25 in the United States held at least a bachelor’s degree, and 10.9 percent held a graduate degree, up from 26.2 percent and 8.7 percent 10 years earlier.

Asian-Americans are the most educated: 50.3 percent  have at least a bachelor’s degree and 19.5 percent hold a graduate degree. By contrast, 34 percent of whites, 19.9 percent of blacks and 14.1 percent of Hispanics hold a bachelor’s degree or more.

President Obama wants 55 percent of Americans to earn a college degree.

Super-sizing the number of graduates, which would require doubling enrollment, won’t make us more prosperous, argues Peter Wood. There’s no “straightforward correlation between the percent of the population holding college degrees and the nation’s prosperity or its international competitiveness.”

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  1. We already have too many college graduates working in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. I don’t know what the solution is to our economic woes, but it is NOT pushing a greater share of our population to complete college.

  2. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    Why not 80%? Give almost everyone an education they neither want nor need.

    Then we can really crap on that last 20%.

  3. “President Obama wants 55 percent of Americans to earn a college degree.”

    I think it’s realistic to expect 55% to get an associate’s degree or better, but for 55% to get a BA is madness.

  4. Walter E Wallis says:

    For the vast majority of jobs, a high school diploma is more than adequate. Eliminate boutique degrees and bring this number down to manageable.

    • A high school diploma that is worth more than the paper upon which it is printed would be more than adequate. The problem is that too many schools are graduating students who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. I don’t see how pushing more of those students to complete college would solve this problem.

  5. How many more kids are going to suckered into participating in student loans they can’t afford by this bachelors for all crap? How many more people are going to lose opportunities because they weren’t stupid enough to take out thousands in loans for a bachelors degree that would qualify them to be a barista?

    The cargo cult social engineering practiced by both parties in Washington is damaging lives every day. There’s an entire generation whose opportunities to accumulate wealth and be self-sufficient in the future is being destroyed by their student loans. These things are pernicious, but no one in the government-higher ed complex ever talks about that. It’s only propaganda about how college is so necessary and that students should pay for it by any means necessary… and the government-higher ed complex is here to help.

    In the end, this is going to be more damaging to our economy than the housing crisis. At least people could get out from bad housing decisions. Student loan debt and being locked out of a job without a sheepskin are rather more permanent conditions. The college-higher ed complex is on-track to create a new underclass whose only crime was not playing its game.

  6. That should be “government-higher ed complex”, not “college-higher ed complex” in that last paragraph.

  7. Obama nationalizes the student loan business then wants 55% of kids to get college degrees while 18-24 yr olds have the highest unemployment rate in modern history and can stay on their parents insurance plans until they are 26. Can we say prolonged adolescence and lifelong dependency

  8. Can we say prolonged adolescence and lifelong dependency

    Yes. We. Can.

  9. 55%…why not 59%, or 47%, or 66.2%? What possible expertise does Obama think he has, or is available to him, that is sufficient to calculate what % of Americans should have college degrees?

    I’m reminded of the state Legislature that passed a law establishing the value of pi.