We know that higher education attainment results in greater individual earning power. In fact, a worker with a bachelor's degree earns 84 percent more than a worker without a degree - an average value of $2.8 million over the course of a lifetime. And the value of individual attainment is also key to our national economic prosperity because research shows that more than two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require a postsecondary degree or credential by 2018.
By providing greater postsecondary access and success for all Americans, we build stronger economies, thriving communities, and a greater quality of life. It's clear that higher education remains the best avenue to prosperity, opportunity and a stronger nation.
Tracking the Attainment Trend
Each year, Lumina tracks the nation’s progress toward Goal 2025 focusing mainly on the percentage of the nation’s working-age population (ages 25-64) holding a two- or four-year college degree. According to the most recent available data (2012), 39.4 percent of these working-age Americans have a two- or four-year degree — an increase of 0.7 percent from last year’s reported rate of 38.7 percent. For detailed state-by-state data, including metro regions, see our yearly Goal 2025 progress report: A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey
A Stronger Nation offers detailed data arrays that describe degree attainment at the national, state and county levels. The report also provides degree-attainment data for each of the nation’s 100 most populous metropolitan regions. We hope that having all of this data available in this interactive format will assist you in your efforts to make Goal 2025 a reality.