Why is the educational attainment rate important to Lumina Foundation’s mission?

The United States risks an unprecedented shortage of college-educated workers in coming years. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems estimates the need to educate nearly 800,000 more college graduates each year from now through 2025 to meet the growing needs of the workforce. Lumina’s goal is to increase the higher education attainment rate of the United States to 60 percent by the year 2025. We must work harder—and faster—to educate enough college graduates to sustain the vitality of our local communities and the nation’s economy.

Levels of Education

for the U.S. Population

AGES 25-64
  • 12.8%Less than high school
  • 27.1%High school graduate (or equivalency)
  • 22.2%Some college, no degree
  • 8.4%Associate degree
  • 19.0%Bachelor’s degree
  • 10.5%Graduate or professional degree

U.S. Attainment Rates

By Population Group

AGES 25-64
  • 42.2%White
  • 26.2%Black
  • 18.6%Hispanic
  • 59.2%Asian
  • 22.5%Native American

Reaching the Big Goal

State Current percentage of adults with college degrees (2008) Additional degrees needed to reach the Big Goal Additional degrees needed annually Annual percentage increase needed
         
Alabama » 31.6 664,131 4,883 7.1
Alaska » 36.3 92,662 681 8.9
Arizona » 34.4 1,120,884 8,242 7.7
Arkansas » 26.5 508,567 3,739 8.3
California » 38.6 4,745,448 34,893 6.7
Colorado » 45.3 397,973 2,926 4.6
Connecticut » 46.6 249,543 1,835 4.9
Delaware » 37.0 111,623 821 6.3
Florida » 36.8 2,843,880 20,911 7.0
Georgia » 36.2 1,346,524 9,901 7.8
Hawaii » 42.3 116,790 859 5.6
Idaho » 34.8 229,610 1,688 7.2
Illinois » 40.8 1,273,954 9,367 5.4
Indiana » 33.4 877,737 6,454 6.3
Iowa » 38.8 305,775 2,248 4.1
Kansas » 40.5 272,085 2,001 5.0
Kentucky » 29.2 692,515 5,092 7.5
Louisiana » 27.0 756,375 5,562 8.2
Maine » 36.8 167,905 1,235 6.5
Maryland » 43.9 548,409 4,032 5.9
Massachusetts » 49.6 362,193 2,663 3.3
Michigan » 35.6 1,322,257 9,722 6.3
Minnesota » 45.0 457,057 3,361 4.7
Mississippi » 29.3 460,850 3,389 7.3
Missouri » 34.9 776,922 5,713 6.1
Montana » 37.6 112,354 826 6.4
Nebraska » 40.5 164,124 1,207 4.6
Nevada » 30.1 575,389 4,231 10.1
New Hampshire » 46.0 114,649 843 4.7
New Jersey » 44.6 764,904 5,624 6.1
New Mexico » 33.4 258,032 1,897 7.0
New York » 43.7 1,604,405 11,797 4.4
North Carolina » 36.9 1,283,782 9,440 7.1
North Dakota » 45.2 42,784 315 3.1
Ohio » 34.9 1,443,143 10,611 6.4
Oklahoma » 31.3 516,906 3,801 6.6
Oregon » 38.6 493,150 3,626 6.8
Pennsylvania » 37.9 1,394,238 10,252 5.5
Rhode Island » 41.4 107,363 789 4.0
South Carolina » 34.4 619,241 4,553 7.3
South Dakota » 39.4 76,469 562 5.0
Tennessee » 31.3 991,518 7,291 7.9
Texas » 33.3 3,969,133 29,185 8.0
Utah » 40.2 286,080 2,104 4.5
Vermont » 43.6 58,161 428 4.4
Virginia » 43.4 765,755 5,631 5.6
Washington » 42.0 737,264 5,421 5.9
West Virginia » 25.6 305,174 2,244 7.0
Wisconsin » 38.0 668,822 4,918 6.0
Wyoming » 36.0 61,375 451 5.7
US » 37.9 37,914,259 278,781 6.3

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey