bypass top and left hand navigationNational Science Board   HOME     PDF     SEARCH     HELP     COMMENTS  
Science and Engineering Indicators 2004
  Table of Contents     Figures     Tables     Appendix Tables     Presentation Slides  
Chapter 8:
Secondary Education
Higher Education
Financial Research and Development Inputs
R&D Outputs
Science and Technology in the Economy



Data Tools
Tell us what you think about the new state indicators chapter

State Indicators

PDFPrint this chapter (2.34MB)
Higher Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

NS&E bachelor's degrees conferred per 1,000 18- to 24-year-olds: 2000 Puerto Rico: 8.41 District of Columbia: 18.67 Maryland: 9.73 Delaware: 9.12 New Hampshire: 12.39 Massachusetts: 12.65 New Jersey: 7.76 Alaska: 4.19 Alabama: 8.03 Arizona: 5.52 Arkansas: 5.50 California: 6.53 Colorado: 10.95 Connecticut: 7.21 Florida: 5.51 Georgia: 6.11 Idaho: 7.30 Illinois: 7.41 Indiana: 8.32 Iowa: 10.52 Kansas: 8.97 Kentucky: 5.64 Louisiana: 7.17 Maine: 10.50 Michigan: 8.91 Minnesota: 8.60 Mississippi: 5.57 Missouri: 8.99 Montana: 13.68 Nebraska: 9.06 Nevada: 3.05 New Mexico: 6.92 New York: 8.22 North Carolina: 7.65 North Dakota: 12.21 Ohio: 7.41 Oklahoma: 6.98 Oregon: 7.43 Pennsylvania: 10.68 Rhode Island: 11.59 South Carolina: 6.73 South Dakota: 13.38 Tennessee: 6.29 Hawaii: 6.26 Texas: 5.40 Utah: 8.87 Vermont: 14.84 Virginia: 8.73 Washington: 6.88 West Virginia: 7.01 Wisconsin: 9.32 Wyoming: 9.15

Quartiles top

Quartile groups for NS&E bachelor�s degrees conferred per 1,000 18–24-year-olds: 2000*
1st Quartile 2nd Quartile 3rd Quartile 4th Quartile
(18.67 - 9.73) (9.32 - 8.05) (7.76 - 6.73) (6.53 - 3.05)
Colorado Alabama Connecticut Alaska
District of Columbia Delaware Idaho Arizona
Iowa Indiana Illinois Arkansas
Maine Kansas Louisiana California
Maryland Michigan New Jersey Florida
Massachusetts Minnesota New Mexico Georgia
Montana Missouri North Carolina Hawaii
New Hampshire Nebraska Ohio Kentucky
North Dakota New York Oklahoma Mississippi
Pennsylvania Utah Oregon Nevada
Rhode Island Virginia South Carolina Tennessee
South Dakota Wisconsin Washington Texas
Vermont Wyoming West Virginia  
*States in alphabetical order, not data order.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population Division. See table 8-5.

Findings top

  • Over the past decade, the number of NS&E bachelor's degrees increased by roughly 25 percent. Nearly 170,000 degrees were awarded in 1990, and the number of degrees exceeded 200,000 in 2000. During this period, the number of 18–24-year-olds remained relatively constant.

  • Reflecting the slower population cohort growth, the national average for the number of NS&E bachelor's degrees awarded per 1,000 18–24-year-olds increased from 6.3 in 1990 to 7.6 in 2000; some states, including some larger ones, had pronounced increases in this ratio.

  • State values ranged from 3.1 to 14.8 and state ratings generally were in the same quartiles on this measure as on the number of bachelor's degrees conferred per 1,000 18–24-year-olds.

  • In 2000, NS&E bachelor's degrees accounted for 17 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded, up slightly from 16 percent in 1990.

Description top

Natural sciences and engineering (NS&E) include physical, earth, ocean, atmospheric, biological, agricultural and computer sciences; mathematics; and engineering. The ratio of new NS&E bachelor's degrees to the 18–24-year-old population indicates the degree to which a state prepares young people to enter the types of technology-intensive occupations that are fundamental to a knowledge-based, technology-driven economy. The 18–24-year-old cohort was chosen to approximate the age range of most people pursuing an undergraduate degree.

A high value for this indicator may suggest relative success in providing a technical undergraduate education. It may also indicate the existence of a higher education system that draws many out-of-state students into NS&E fields, which may particularly affect the results for some sparsely populated states and the District of Columbia.


  Top Of Page