The parents of recent doctorate recipients are better educated than the parents of earlier cohorts of doctorate recipients. The share of doctorate recipients from families in which neither parent has earned more than a high school diploma declined to 18% in 2016. The share from families in which at least one parent has earned a bachelor's degree (26%) or at least one parent has an advanced degree (43%) continues to climb, rising from 57% of doctorate recipients in 1996 to 69% in 2016.
Doctorates awarded, by highest parental educational attainment: 1996–2016
|Year||Neither parent with more than high school diploma||At least one parent with some college||At least one parent with bachelor's degree||At least one parent with advanced degree|
- NOTES: Percentages are based on the number of doctorate recipients responding to the item on the highest education attainment for either parent. Percentages may not sum to 100% because of rounding and because of doctorate recipients who reported "not applicable" for both father's and mother's education beginning in 2004.
- SOURCE: Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities 2016. Related detailed data: tables 33, 34.