National data

    The United States risks an unprecedented shortage of college-educated workers in coming years. With the global economy demanding more and more highly skilled workers, economists and labor experts say increasing college attainment is a national imperative.

    That’s why Lumina is part of a growing movement 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 reach Goal 2025. Increasing the nation’s college attainment rate is critical if we hope to sustain the vitality of our local communities and the nation’s economy.

    In Alabama, 31.9 percent of the state’s 2.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Alabama’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 31.5 percent. Also, Alabama’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Alaska, 34.4 percent of the state’s 398,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Alaska’s attainment rate is actually declining; last year, the rate was 37.3 percent. Also, Alaska’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Arizona, 35.8 percent of the state’s 3.3 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Arizona’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 35.1 percent. Still, Arizona’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Arkansas, 28.2 percent of the state’s 1.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Arkansas’ attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 27.9 percent. Also, Arkansas’ rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In California, 38.9 percent of the state’s 20 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. California’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 38.8 percent. Also, California’s rate of higher education attainment is on par with the national average.

    In Colorado, 47 percent of the state’s 2.8 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Colorado’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 46 percent. Colorado’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Connecticut, 46.4 percent of the state’s 1.9 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Connecticut’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 45.8 percent. Connecticut’s rate of higher education attainment is above the national average.

    In Delaware, 37.6 percent of the state’s 477,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Delaware’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 37.4 percent. Also, Delaware’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Florida, 37 percent of the state’s 9.9 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Florida’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 36.5 percent. Also, Florida’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Georgia, 36.4 percent of the state’s 5.2 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Georgia’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 36.1 percent. Also, Georgia’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Hawaii, 41.6 percent of the state’s 736,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Hawaii’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was also 41.6 percent. However, Hawaii’s rate of higher education attainment is higher than the national average.

    In Idaho, 36.5 percent of the state’s 794,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Idaho’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 34.7 percent. Still, Idaho’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Illinois, 41.7 percent of the state’s 6.9 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Illinois’ attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 41.3 percent. Also, Illinois’ rate of higher education attainment is above the national average.

    In Indiana, 33.8 percent of the state’s 3.4 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Indiana’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 33.2 percent. However, Indiana’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Iowa, 41.1 percent of the state’s 1.6 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Iowa’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 39.7 percent. Also, Iowa’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly above the national average.

    In Kansas, 40.7 percent of the state’s 1.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Kansas’ attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 40.5 percent. Kansas’ rate of higher education attainment is slightly above the national average.

    In Kentucky, 30.8 percent of the state’s 2.3 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Kentucky’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 30 percent. Also, Kentucky’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Louisiana, 27.9 percent of the state’s 2.4 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Louisiana’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 28.2 percent. Also, Louisiana’s rate of higher education attainment is far below the national average.

    In Maine, 40 percent of the state’s 725,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Maine’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 38.8 percent. Also, Maine’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly higher than the national average.

    In Maryland, 45.4 percent of the state’s 3.2 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Maryland’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 44.7 percent. Maryland’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Massachusetts, 50.8 percent of the state’s 3.6 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Massachusetts’ attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 50.5 percent. Massachusetts’ rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Michigan, 36.8 percent of the state’s 5.2 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Michigan’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 36.4 percent. Still, Michigan’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Minnesota, 46.6 percent of the state’s 2.9 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Minnesota’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 45.8 percent. Minnesota’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Mississippi, 30.3 percent of the state’s 1.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Mississippi’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 29.9 percent. Also, Mississippi’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Missouri, 36.4 percent of the state’s 3.15 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Missouri’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 35.8 percent. Also, Missouri’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Montana, 39.2 percent of the state’s 526,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Montana’s attainment rate is falling slightly; last year, the rate was 40 percent. Montana’s rate of higher education attainment is roughly on par with the national average.

    In Nebraska, 41.5 percent of the state’s 946,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Nebraska’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 42 percent. Nebraska’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly above the national average.

    In Nevada, 30 percent of the state’s 1.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Nevada’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 29.5 percent. Also, Nevada’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In New Hampshire, 45.8 percent of the state’s 730,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. New Hampshire’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was also 45.8 percent. Still, New Hampshire’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In New Jersey, 45.1 percent of the state’s 4.8 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. New Jersey’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 45.3 percent. Still, New Jersey’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In New Mexico, 33.9 percent of the state’s 1.1 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. New Mexico’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 33.1 percent. Also, New Mexico’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In New York, 44.6 percent of the state’s 10.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. New York’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 44.1 percent. New York’s rate of higher education attainment is above the national average.

    In North Carolina, 38.2 percent of the state’s 5.1 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. North Carolina’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 37.6 percent. North Carolina’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly below the national average.

    In North Dakota, 44.7 percent of the state’s 350,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. North Dakota’s attainment rate is actually declining; last year, the rate was 44.9 percent. Still, North Dakota’s rate of higher education attainment is above the national average.

    In Ohio, 35.5 percent of the state’s 6.1 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Ohio’s attainment rate is actually declining; last year, the rate was 35.8 percent. Ohio’s rate of higher education attainment is also below the national average.

    In Oklahoma, 33 percent of the state’s 1.95 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Oklahoma’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 31.7 percent. Still, Oklahoma’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    In Oregon, 39 percent of the state’s 2.1 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Oregon’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 38.6 percent. Also, Oregon’s rate of higher education attainment is on par with the national average.

    In Pennsylvania, 38.6 percent of the state’s 6.7 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Pennsylvania’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was also 38.6 percent. Pennsylvania’s rate of higher education attainment is on par with the national average.

    In Rhode Island, 43.2 percent of the state’s 559,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Rhode Island’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 41.2 percent. Rhode Island’s rate of higher education attainment is also above the national average.

    In South Carolina, 34.2 percent of the state’s 2.5 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. South Carolina’s attainment rate is falling slightly; last year, the rate was 34.8 percent. South Carolina’s rate of higher education attainment is also well below the national average.

    In South Dakota, 39.4 percent of the state’s 418,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. South Dakota’s attainment rate is declining; last year, the rate was 40.8 percent. Still, South Dakota’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly above the national average.

    In Tennessee, 32.1 percent of the state’s 3.4 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Tennessee’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 31.9 percent. However, Tennessee’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Texas, 34.5 percent of the state’s 13.4 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Texas’ attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 33.7 percent. Still, Texas’ rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Utah, 40.3 percent of the state’s 1.35 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Utah’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 39.7 percent. Utah’s rate of higher education attainment is a bit higher than the national average.

    In Vermont, 46.2 percent of the state’s 341,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Vermont’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 44.1 percent. Also, Vermont’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Virginia, 45 percent of the state’s 4.4 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Virginia’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 43.9 percent. Also, Virginia’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In Washington, 43.3 percent of the state’s 3.7 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Washington’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 42.5 percent. Still, Washington’s rate of higher education attainment is well above the national average.

    In West Virginia, 27.8 percent of the state’s 993,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. West Virginia’s attainment rate is increasing; last year, the rate was 26.1 percent. However, West Virginia’s rate of higher education attainment is well below the national average.

    In Wisconsin, 39.6 percent of the state’s 3 million working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Wisconsin’s attainment rate is increasing slowly; last year, the rate was 39.1 percent. Still, Wisconsin’s rate of higher education attainment is slightly above the national average.

    In Wyoming, 36.2 percent of the state’s 304,000 working-age adults (25-64 years old) hold a two- or four-year college degree, according to 2011 Census data. Wyoming’s attainment rate is essentially flat; last year, the rate was 37.3 percent. Wyoming’s rate of higher education attainment is below the national average.

    There is no doubt that cities and metropolitan regions must be prime locations for action in the drive to increase college attainment. According to Census figures, more than 80 percent of Americans live in cities or suburbs. And with demographic trends showing that American society is becoming increasingly urban, it is obvious that the nation must find effective strategies to increase college attainment in metropolitan regions.

    What’s more, we at Lumina believe these areas are fertile ground for growing the kind of collaborations among political, business, education, philanthropic and community-based leaders that can have significant impact on college attainment. That is why we are focusing much of our attention on large-scale change in metropolitan regions.

    We are already supporting such efforts in dozens of metro regions. Our partners in this work understand that creating an educated workforce is a vital survival strategy for a city; they recognize that a well-educated person more actively embraces his or her role as a contributing citizen.

    In short, a metro-region strategy taps a strong motivation and sense of urgency for the change that is necessary to achieve Goal 2025 and secure the future of the country as a whole. But it all starts with understanding where you are (knowing your region’s data) and setting a goal for where you need to be. We hope the data provided here can put more cities and metropolitan regions on that strategic path.

    Percentage of adults (25-64) with at least an associate degree, by metropolitan region

    Click the column headings to sort accordingly

    Rank By
    Population
    Area Name Rate Population

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, July 1 2011 Resident Population Estimates and 2009-11 American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates

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