|Quartile groups for bachelor's
degree holders as share of workforce: 2002*
|(59.7% - 37.9%)
||(37.9% - 33.2%)
||(33.0% - 30.4%)
||(30.3% - 24.3%)
|District of Columbia
|*States in alphabetical order, not data order.
SOURCES: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Population Division, Education and Stratification Branch, Educational Attainment
in the United States; and U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area
Unemployment Statistics. See table
- In 2002, there were 48.7 million bachelor's degree holders in the United
States, up from 35.6 million in 1993.
- The nationwide value of this indicator rose from 29.6 percent in 1993 to
35.6 percent in 2002, indicating a significant increase in the number and
percentage of workers who completed a baccalaureate.
- The proportion of the workforce with a bachelor's degree increased considerably
in many states, possibly reflecting the states' attraction of younger cohorts
of workers with relatively more college-educated people than older cohorts
or a restructuring of their economies.
- The geographic distribution of bachelor's degree holders in the workforce
bears little resemblance to any of the degree-based indicators, attesting
to the considerable mobility of the U.S. college-educated population.
Bachelor's degrees are considered an indicator of a well-educated workforce
because of the clear advantage they provide over less educational attainment
in terms of expected lifetime earnings. The indicator is expressed as the percentage
of workers in a state's workforce who hold at least a bachelor's degree. A high
value for this indicator denotes that the state has a large percentage of workers
who completed an undergraduate education.
Degree data, based on the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS),
are limited to individuals who are age 25 or older. Civilian workforce data
are Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates based on CPS. Estimates for sparsely
populated states and the District of Columbia may be imprecise because of their
small representation in the survey samples.