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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+ 3,291,995 100.00% 3,454,738 100.00%
Less than 9th grade 379,239 11.52% 332,628 9.63%
Some high school, no diploma 496,240 15.07% 437,713 12.67%
High school graduate* 864,965 26.27% 834,675 24.16%
Some college, no degree 629,196 19.11% 700,065 20.26%
Associate degree 172,317 5.23% 181,015 5.24%
Bachelor's degree 475,816 14.45% 595,677 17.24%
Graduate or professional degree 274,222 8.33% 372,965 10.80%

* "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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