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Home > Research, Data & Reports > Degrees, Graduation Rates, Attainment & Outcomes > Educational Attainment Data

 

Educational Attainment Data

Percent of Minnesota's population with a degree

  • Minnesota ranks 2nd (49 percent) nationally behind Massachusetts (52 percent) in the percentage of its population (aged 25 to 64) with an associate degree or higher.
  • While the percentage of Minnesotans (age 25 and older) with an associate degree or higher compares favorably nationally, disparities exist across racial groups (age 25 and older) with only Asian (50 percent) and White (47 percent) Minnesotans exceeding the state average (45 percent).
  • Employment levels increase with each level of education along with median wages for Minnesota adults (age 25 and older).
Educational Attainment: Minnesota Population Age 25 to 64
72 Percent of Minnesota Adults Have at Least Some College or Higher, 2014
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

Individuals in the "some college, no degree" category may have completed an occupationally specific certification below the associate degree, or are still enrolled in college. In Minnesota, about the same number of students earn a certificate as those earning an associate degree annually. Minnesota is above the average in the number of people completing certificate programs compared to other states.

Percent of Minnesota's Population with an Associate Degree or Higher by Age, 2002 to 2014

Percent of Minnesota's Population with an Associate Degree or Higher by Age, 2002 to 2014

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

Younger Minnesotans are receiving more education than their parents and grandparents. The populations with the highest attainment level are 25 to 44 year olds; 53 percent had earned an associate degree or higher. Minnesota ranks second in the country in this measure. Educational attainment rates reflect recent patterns of high college participation among young adults.


Minnesota Associate Degree Attainment for Population Age 25 and Older by Race/Ethnicity, 2010 to 2014

Minnesota Associate Degree Attainment for Population Age 25 and Older by Race/Ethnicity, 2010 to 2014

*Hispanics may be of any race. Data for Hispanics may overlap with data for other race groups.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey


Educational attainment of Minnesota's population by 17 cultural groups.


Median Income Increases with Educational Attainment: Minnesotans Age 25 and Older, 2014

Median Income Increases with Educational Attainment: Minnesotans Age 25 and Older, 2014

Note: "Some College" also includes those who completed one- or two-year certificate programs.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates


Minnesota and Twin Cities Area Rank High in Degree Attainment

The 2015 Lumina Foundation report ranked metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of their population (aged 25 to 64) with an associate degree or higher. Minneapolis/St. Paul ranked fourth (51.8 percent) behind Washington D.C. (55.4 percent), Boston (54.7 percent) and San Francisco (53.8 percent).

About educational attainment

Educational attainment refers to the highest level of education an individual has completed at the time the survey is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data is collected annually via the American Community Survey. Data on educational attainment are derived from a single question that asks, "What is the highest grade of school completed, or the highest degree received?" This question was first implemented in the 1990 Decennial Census and changed in the Current Population Survey in 1992. Prior to this, respondents were asked a two-part question asking respondents to report the highest grade they had attended, and whether or not they had completed that grade. The response categories for the educational attainment question vary slightly by survey, but generally include the following categories:

  • No schooling completed, or less than 1 year
  • Nursery, kindergarten, and elementary (grades 1-8)
  • High school (grades 9-12, no degree)
  • High school graduate (or equivalent)
  • Some college (1-4 years, no degree)
  • Associate's degree (including occupational or academic degrees)
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
  • Professional school degree
  • Doctorate degree

Depending on the survey, the educational attainment question may be asked only of adult household members. Even when data are collected from all household members regardless of age, the U.S. Census Bureau generally publishes data only for adults. Most publications focus on adults aged 25 years and over, when education has been completed for most people.

 

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