Workforce

Bachelor's Degree Holders Potentially in the Workforce: 2005

  • 1st quartile
    (51.2%–34.2%)
  • 2nd quartile
    (33.6%–29.1%)
  • 3rd quartile
    (28.9%–26.7%)
  • 4th quartile
    (26.5%–22.5%)

Quartiles

Bachelor's degree holders potentially in the workforce: 2005
 
1st quartile
(51.2%–34.2%)
2nd Quartile
(33.6%–29.1%)
3rd Quartile
(28.9%–26.7%)
4th Quartile
(26.5%–22.5%)
 
California Alaska Alabama Arkansas
Colorado Delaware Arizona Idaho
Connecticut Georgia Florida Indiana
District of Columbia Hawaii Maine Iowa
Illinois Kansas Missouri Kentucky
Maryland Michigan Nebraska Louisiana
Massachusetts Minnesota North Dakota Mississippi
New Hampshire Montana Ohio Nevada
New Jersey New Mexico South Carolina Oklahoma
New York North Carolina Tennessee South Dakota
Vermont Oregon Texas West Virginia
Virginia Pennsylvania Utah Wyoming
Washington Rhode Island Wisconsin  
 
SOURCES: Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey (various years); and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics. See Data Table.

Findings

  • In 2005, 45 million individuals between the ages of 25 and 64 held bachelor's degrees in the United States, up from 39 million in 2000. Nationwide, the ratio of bachelor's degree holders to the size of the workforce rose from 28.5% in 2000 to 31.7% in 2005. This ratio varied considerably among the states, ranging from 22.5% to 43.2% in 2005.
  • The value of this indicator increased in all states and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2005. This may reflect a replacement of older cohorts of workers with younger, more educated ones. It may also indicate the restructuring of state economies to emphasize work that requires a higher level of education or credentials.
  • Between 2000 and 2005, Michigan, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia showed the largest increases in the ratio of bachelor's degree holders to workforce size.
  • The geographic distribution of bachelor's degree holders bears little resemblance to any of the degree production indicators, which attests to the considerable mobility of the college-educated population in the United States.

Description

The ratio of bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree holders to the size of a state's workforce is an indicator of a population with undergraduate and/or graduate education skill levels potentially available for its workforce. Workers with at least a bachelor's degree have a clear advantage over less-educated workers in expected lifetime earnings. A high value for this indicator suggests a large percentage of the potential workforce with an undergraduate education. This indicator does not imply that all degree holders are currently employed; rather, it indicates the potential educational level of the workforce if all degree holders were employed. Knowledge-intensive businesses seeking to relocate may be attracted to states with high values on this indicator.

Degree data are based on the U.S. Census Bureau's 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey and are limited to individuals who are 25–64 years old because this is the age range of most of the workforce. Individuals younger than age 25 are considered to be in the process of completing their education. Individuals older than 64 are considered to be largely retired, so their educational attainment would have limited applicability to the quality of the workforce. Civilian workforce data are Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates based on Local Area Unemployment Statistics. Estimates for sparsely populated states and the District of Columbia may be imprecise because of their small representation in the survey samples.

Data Table

Table 8-25
Bachelor's degree holders potentially in the workforce, by state: 2000, 2003, and 2005
 
  Bachelor's degree
holders 25–64 years old
  Employed workforce   Bachelor's degree
holders/workforce (%)
State 2000 2003 2005    2000 2003 2005    2000 2003 2005
 
United States 39,078,598 43,038,717 44,972,214   136,940,378 137,418,377 141,739,774   28.5 31.3 31.7
Alabama 479,734 532,098 549,086   2,067,147 2,000,039 2,056,800   23.2 26.6 26.7
Alaska 87,739 91,931 96,854   299,324 308,523 318,423   29.3 29.8 30.4
Arizona 638,515 689,950 781,932   2,404,916 2,565,030 2,727,003   26.6 26.9 28.7
Arkansas 247,079 276,084 287,058   1,207,352 1,199,379 1,276,851   20.5 23.0 22.5
California 4,960,210 5,611,074 5,732,017   16,024,341 16,226,987 16,782,260   31.0 34.6 34.2
Colorado 819,906 901,534 936,007   2,300,192 2,323,554 2,436,795   35.6 38.8 38.4
Connecticut 633,867 695,356 707,700   1,697,670 1,704,693 1,734,386   37.3 40.8 40.8
Delaware 111,260 126,828 131,287   402,777 403,504 415,687   27.6 31.4 31.6
District of Columbia 133,155 148,230 150,461   291,916 283,736 293,900   45.6 52.2 51.2
Florida 1,968,126 2,266,930 2,398,022   7,569,406 7,811,887 8,375,993   26.0 29.0 28.6
Georgia 1,148,814 1,266,705 1,394,550   4,095,362 4,180,568 4,384,030   28.1 30.3 31.8
Hawaii 184,130 196,970 200,132   584,858 588,880 614,290   31.5 33.4 32.6
Idaho 149,622 172,807 178,690   632,451 652,627 698,466   23.7 26.5 25.6
Illinois 1,876,455 2,032,846 2,113,824   6,176,837 5,942,720 6,112,981   30.4 34.2 34.6
Indiana 672,835 707,713 745,940   3,052,719 3,011,436 3,054,803   22.0 23.5 24.4
Iowa 351,922 366,596 404,729   1,557,081 1,543,507 1,568,561   22.6 23.8 25.8
Kansas 385,924 434,766 425,214   1,351,988 1,364,410 1,389,201   28.5 31.9 30.6
Kentucky 402,094 435,777 467,998   1,866,348 1,851,017 1,879,413   21.5 23.5 24.9
Louisiana 453,353 512,319 496,071   1,930,662 1,899,642 1,938,280   23.5 27.0 25.6
Maine 170,334 193,729 193,647   650,385 655,561 669,250   26.2 29.6 28.9
Maryland 979,588 1,083,343 1,095,665   2,711,382 2,750,040 2,820,526   36.1 39.4 38.8
Massachusetts 1,266,113 1,370,101 1,387,065   3,273,281 3,211,853 3,211,033   38.7 42.7 43.2
Michigan 1,242,388 1,378,696 1,407,669   4,953,421 4,681,180 4,726,204   25.1 29.5 29.8
Minnesota 783,613 891,852 906,335   2,720,492 2,765,997 2,796,622   28.8 32.2 32.4
Mississippi 256,581 279,111 293,533   1,239,859 1,228,526 1,226,492   20.7 22.7 23.9
Missouri 695,491 776,798 792,737   2,875,336 2,819,935 2,847,758   24.2 27.5 27.8
Montana 124,462 130,542 139,593   446,552 447,679 463,929   27.9 29.2 30.1
Nebraska 230,857 244,248 267,867   923,198 932,870 940,040   25.0 26.2 28.5
Nevada 206,361 241,719 272,492   1,015,221 1,092,651 1,178,072   20.3 22.1 23.1
New Hampshire 207,431 226,741 243,698   675,541 684,348 703,175   30.7 33.1 34.7
New Jersey 1,510,429 1,639,510 1,734,942   4,130,310 4,126,674 4,255,813   36.6 39.7 40.8
New Mexico 226,334 232,196 252,804   810,024 832,639 867,317   27.9 27.9 29.1
New York 3,031,927 3,275,249 3,460,430   8,751,441 8,713,529 8,959,845   34.6 37.6 38.6
North Carolina 1,044,025 1,155,486 1,229,917   3,969,235 3,965,695 4,112,828   26.3 29.1 29.9
North Dakota 80,545 91,105 95,520   335,780 335,453 341,847   24.0 27.2 27.9
Ohio 1,375,311 1,480,377 1,521,816   5,573,154 5,502,110 5,546,537   24.7 26.9 27.4
Oklahoma 383,381 414,535 431,778   1,609,522 1,597,338 1,629,217   23.8 26.0 26.5
Oregon 488,862 533,853 564,786   1,716,954 1,704,397 1,754,715   28.5 31.3 32.2
Pennsylvania 1,618,658 1,736,241 1,842,351   5,830,902 5,818,296 5,966,226   27.8 29.8 30.9
Rhode Island 156,862 185,148 181,553   520,758 535,458 539,709   30.1 34.6 33.6
South Carolina 454,656 521,905 534,821   1,902,029 1,868,309 1,939,646   23.9 27.9 27.6
South Dakota 89,855 95,907 104,555   397,678 405,840 411,551   22.6 23.6 25.4
Tennessee 649,844 719,592 750,100   2,756,498 2,720,676 2,758,184   23.6 26.4 27.2
Texas 2,646,909 2,892,917 3,062,665   9,896,002 10,260,318 10,677,171   26.7 28.2 28.7
Utah 276,360 292,932 339,337   1,097,915 1,132,948 1,211,803   25.2 25.9 28.0
Vermont 103,476 113,291 118,184   326,742 333,788 341,442   31.7 33.9 34.6
Virginia 1,232,454 1,361,804 1,438,181   3,502,524 3,646,114 3,785,583   35.2 37.3 38.0
Washington 932,352 1,037,358 1,069,031   2,898,677 2,916,045 3,089,953   32.2 35.6 34.6
West Virginia 157,883 179,117 181,476   764,649 742,990 754,060   20.6 24.1 24.1
Wisconsin 690,065 732,493 791,966   2,894,884 2,866,994 2,887,434   23.8 25.5 27.4
Wyoming 60,451 64,307 68,128   256,685 259,987 267,669   23.6 24.7 25.5
 
Puerto Rico 378,586 NA 454,714   1,162,153 1,200,322 1,250,335   32.6 NA 36.4
 

NA = not available

NOTES: Bachelor's degree holders include those completing a bachelor's or higher degree. Workforce represents employed component of civilian labor force and reported as annual data not seasonally adjusted.

SOURCES: Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey (various years); and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2008

Excel.Source Data
  • 1st quartile
    (51.2%–34.2%)
  • 2nd quartile
    (33.6%–29.1%)
  • 3rd quartile
    (28.9%–26.7%)
  • 4th quartile
    (26.5%–22.5%)

Quartiles

Bachelor's degree holders potentially in the workforce: 2005
 
1st quartile
(51.2%–34.2%)
2nd Quartile
(33.6%–29.1%)
3rd Quartile
(28.9%–26.7%)
4th Quartile
(26.5%–22.5%)
 
California Alaska Alabama Arkansas
Colorado Delaware Arizona Idaho
Connecticut Georgia Florida Indiana
District of Columbia Hawaii Maine Iowa
Illinois Kansas Missouri Kentucky
Maryland Michigan Nebraska Louisiana
Massachusetts Minnesota North Dakota Mississippi
New Hampshire Montana Ohio Nevada
New Jersey New Mexico South Carolina Oklahoma
New York North Carolina Tennessee South Dakota
Vermont Oregon Texas West Virginia
Virginia Pennsylvania Utah Wyoming
Washington Rhode Island Wisconsin  
 
SOURCES: Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey (various years); and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics. See Data Table.

Findings

  • In 2005, 45 million individuals between the ages of 25 and 64 held bachelor's degrees in the United States, up from 39 million in 2000. Nationwide, the ratio of bachelor's degree holders to the size of the workforce rose from 28.5% in 2000 to 31.7% in 2005. This ratio varied considerably among the states, ranging from 22.5% to 43.2% in 2005.
  • The value of this indicator increased in all states and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2005. This may reflect a replacement of older cohorts of workers with younger, more educated ones. It may also indicate the restructuring of state economies to emphasize work that requires a higher level of education or credentials.
  • Between 2000 and 2005, Michigan, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia showed the largest increases in the ratio of bachelor's degree holders to workforce size.
  • The geographic distribution of bachelor's degree holders bears little resemblance to any of the degree production indicators, which attests to the considerable mobility of the college-educated population in the United States.

Description

The ratio of bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree holders to the size of a state's workforce is an indicator of a population with undergraduate and/or graduate education skill levels potentially available for its workforce. Workers with at least a bachelor's degree have a clear advantage over less-educated workers in expected lifetime earnings. A high value for this indicator suggests a large percentage of the potential workforce with an undergraduate education. This indicator does not imply that all degree holders are currently employed; rather, it indicates the potential educational level of the workforce if all degree holders were employed. Knowledge-intensive businesses seeking to relocate may be attracted to states with high values on this indicator.

Degree data are based on the U.S. Census Bureau's 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey and are limited to individuals who are 25–64 years old because this is the age range of most of the workforce. Individuals younger than age 25 are considered to be in the process of completing their education. Individuals older than 64 are considered to be largely retired, so their educational attainment would have limited applicability to the quality of the workforce. Civilian workforce data are Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates based on Local Area Unemployment Statistics. Estimates for sparsely populated states and the District of Columbia may be imprecise because of their small representation in the survey samples.

Data Table

Table 8-25
Bachelor's degree holders potentially in the workforce, by state: 2000, 2003, and 2005
 
  Bachelor's degree
holders 25–64 years old
  Employed workforce   Bachelor's degree
holders/workforce (%)
State 2000 2003 2005    2000 2003 2005    2000 2003 2005
 
United States 39,078,598 43,038,717 44,972,214   136,940,378 137,418,377 141,739,774   28.5 31.3 31.7
Alabama 479,734 532,098 549,086   2,067,147 2,000,039 2,056,800   23.2 26.6 26.7
Alaska 87,739 91,931 96,854   299,324 308,523 318,423   29.3 29.8 30.4
Arizona 638,515 689,950 781,932   2,404,916 2,565,030 2,727,003   26.6 26.9 28.7
Arkansas 247,079 276,084 287,058   1,207,352 1,199,379 1,276,851   20.5 23.0 22.5
California 4,960,210 5,611,074 5,732,017   16,024,341 16,226,987 16,782,260   31.0 34.6 34.2
Colorado 819,906 901,534 936,007   2,300,192 2,323,554 2,436,795   35.6 38.8 38.4
Connecticut 633,867 695,356 707,700   1,697,670 1,704,693 1,734,386   37.3 40.8 40.8
Delaware 111,260 126,828 131,287   402,777 403,504 415,687   27.6 31.4 31.6
District of Columbia 133,155 148,230 150,461   291,916 283,736 293,900   45.6 52.2 51.2
Florida 1,968,126 2,266,930 2,398,022   7,569,406 7,811,887 8,375,993   26.0 29.0 28.6
Georgia 1,148,814 1,266,705 1,394,550   4,095,362 4,180,568 4,384,030   28.1 30.3 31.8
Hawaii 184,130 196,970 200,132   584,858 588,880 614,290   31.5 33.4 32.6
Idaho 149,622 172,807 178,690   632,451 652,627 698,466   23.7 26.5 25.6
Illinois 1,876,455 2,032,846 2,113,824   6,176,837 5,942,720 6,112,981   30.4 34.2 34.6
Indiana 672,835 707,713 745,940   3,052,719 3,011,436 3,054,803   22.0 23.5 24.4
Iowa 351,922 366,596 404,729   1,557,081 1,543,507 1,568,561   22.6 23.8 25.8
Kansas 385,924 434,766 425,214   1,351,988 1,364,410 1,389,201   28.5 31.9 30.6
Kentucky 402,094 435,777 467,998   1,866,348 1,851,017 1,879,413   21.5 23.5 24.9
Louisiana 453,353 512,319 496,071   1,930,662 1,899,642 1,938,280   23.5 27.0 25.6
Maine 170,334 193,729 193,647   650,385 655,561 669,250   26.2 29.6 28.9
Maryland 979,588 1,083,343 1,095,665   2,711,382 2,750,040 2,820,526   36.1 39.4 38.8
Massachusetts 1,266,113 1,370,101 1,387,065   3,273,281 3,211,853 3,211,033   38.7 42.7 43.2
Michigan 1,242,388 1,378,696 1,407,669   4,953,421 4,681,180 4,726,204   25.1 29.5 29.8
Minnesota 783,613 891,852 906,335   2,720,492 2,765,997 2,796,622   28.8 32.2 32.4
Mississippi 256,581 279,111 293,533   1,239,859 1,228,526 1,226,492   20.7 22.7 23.9
Missouri 695,491 776,798 792,737   2,875,336 2,819,935 2,847,758   24.2 27.5 27.8
Montana 124,462 130,542 139,593   446,552 447,679 463,929   27.9 29.2 30.1
Nebraska 230,857 244,248 267,867   923,198 932,870 940,040   25.0 26.2 28.5
Nevada 206,361 241,719 272,492   1,015,221 1,092,651 1,178,072   20.3 22.1 23.1
New Hampshire 207,431 226,741 243,698   675,541 684,348 703,175   30.7 33.1 34.7
New Jersey 1,510,429 1,639,510 1,734,942   4,130,310 4,126,674 4,255,813   36.6 39.7 40.8
New Mexico 226,334 232,196 252,804   810,024 832,639 867,317   27.9 27.9 29.1
New York 3,031,927 3,275,249 3,460,430   8,751,441 8,713,529 8,959,845   34.6 37.6 38.6
North Carolina 1,044,025 1,155,486 1,229,917   3,969,235 3,965,695 4,112,828   26.3 29.1 29.9
North Dakota 80,545 91,105 95,520   335,780 335,453 341,847   24.0 27.2 27.9
Ohio 1,375,311 1,480,377 1,521,816   5,573,154 5,502,110 5,546,537   24.7 26.9 27.4
Oklahoma 383,381 414,535 431,778   1,609,522 1,597,338 1,629,217   23.8 26.0 26.5
Oregon 488,862 533,853 564,786   1,716,954 1,704,397 1,754,715   28.5 31.3 32.2
Pennsylvania 1,618,658 1,736,241 1,842,351   5,830,902 5,818,296 5,966,226   27.8 29.8 30.9
Rhode Island 156,862 185,148 181,553   520,758 535,458 539,709   30.1 34.6 33.6
South Carolina 454,656 521,905 534,821   1,902,029 1,868,309 1,939,646   23.9 27.9 27.6
South Dakota 89,855 95,907 104,555   397,678 405,840 411,551   22.6 23.6 25.4
Tennessee 649,844 719,592 750,100   2,756,498 2,720,676 2,758,184   23.6 26.4 27.2
Texas 2,646,909 2,892,917 3,062,665   9,896,002 10,260,318 10,677,171   26.7 28.2 28.7
Utah 276,360 292,932 339,337   1,097,915 1,132,948 1,211,803   25.2 25.9 28.0
Vermont 103,476 113,291 118,184   326,742 333,788 341,442   31.7 33.9 34.6
Virginia 1,232,454 1,361,804 1,438,181   3,502,524 3,646,114 3,785,583   35.2 37.3 38.0
Washington 932,352 1,037,358 1,069,031   2,898,677 2,916,045 3,089,953   32.2 35.6 34.6
West Virginia 157,883 179,117 181,476   764,649 742,990 754,060   20.6 24.1 24.1
Wisconsin 690,065 732,493 791,966   2,894,884 2,866,994 2,887,434   23.8 25.5 27.4
Wyoming 60,451 64,307 68,128   256,685 259,987 267,669   23.6 24.7 25.5
 
Puerto Rico 378,586 NA 454,714   1,162,153 1,200,322 1,250,335   32.6 NA 36.4
 

NA = not available

NOTES: Bachelor's degree holders include those completing a bachelor's or higher degree. Workforce represents employed component of civilian labor force and reported as annual data not seasonally adjusted.

SOURCES: Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey (various years); and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2008

Excel.Source Data
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