|Quartile groups for NS&E
bachelor�s degrees conferred per 1,000 1824-year-olds: 2000*
|(18.67 - 9.73)
||(9.32 - 8.05)
||(7.76 - 6.73)
||(6.53 - 3.05)
|District of Columbia
|*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.
- 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.
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.