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The Census reports on the level of education attained by adults age 25 and older. Our elderly population grew up in a time when education attainment was typically lower, and college attendance was less widespread. As this population is succeeded by younger and increasingly well-educated cohorts, the percent of the population that has attained higher levels of education slowly increases. Not only has the number of diplomas and degrees increased, but their percentage in the population has also increased, indicating a growth in attainment greater than the relative growth in national population.

Educational Attainment in Population 25 Years and Over, 1990-2000
1990 2000
Number Percent of Total Number Percent of Total
Total Population Age 25+ 5,481,222 100.00% 5,882,948 100.00%
Less than 9th grade 853,988 15.58% 955,932 16.25%
Some high school, no diploma 788,825 14.39% 814,592 13.85%
High school graduate* 1,134,608 20.70% 1,108,314 18.84%
Some college, no degree 1,077,427 19.66% 1,174,477 19.96%
Associate degree 402,932 7.35% 367,244 6.24%
Bachelor's degree 793,556 14.48% 945,634 16.07%
Graduate or professional degree 429,886 7.84% 516,755 8.78%

* "High school graduate" includes people with the G.E.D. and similar equivalents.

Source: Census 2000 analyzed by the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN).

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