Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adults with college degrees by county

There's an interesting interactive map at the Chronicle of Higher Education allowing you to interactively view census data on Bachelor's degrees attained by adults broken down by county.

What's the data for Ulster County, where I live?

We're slightly higher (28.83%) than the national average (27.53%) although a bit lower than the New York State average (31.84%) since the the New York City metropolitan area is significantly higher than the national average.

More women (30.64%) than men (26.95%) receive a degree.

Blacks (11.13%) and Hispanics (15.24%) lag way behind Whites (30.00%) in obtaining degrees.  Asians (50.03%), on the other hand, blow everyone else away.

This indicates to me that our community college should be doing more outreach and academic support to minorities in our community as we have to deal with lower enrollments in the future due to declining population in our county as seen in local public school numbers (see Top Ten States People are Fleeing).

It's interesting to look at the patterns in the national map as well.  The large metropolitan areas have high percentages of college graduates - places like the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C., Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle. There are some blue blocks in what look like surprising places at first until you realize that they're college towns - places like Urbana-Champaign, IL, Boulder, CO, and Ames, IA.  Then there are those places where lots of rich people live - Blaine County, ID (Sun Valley), Teton County, WY (Jackson Hole), and Santa Fe County, NM.  Others are probably statistical anomalies.  Roberts County, TX has a high percentage but there's nothing there but a population of 913 people and cattle ranches.  They're well-educated ranchers.

I love looking at graphic representations of data like this.

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