The American Household: Many Are Led by Parents With Low Education Levels

Posted March 9, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Parents who climb higher on the academic ladder are more likely to have financially stable families — and children who do well in school. Higher levels of parental educational attainment are strongly associated with positive outcomes for children.

Yet, across America:

  • 59% of kids live in a home led by an adult with a high-school diploma or less.
  • 14% of kids live in a home led by an adult who never graduated high school.

Race and ethnicity makes a difference. One in three Latino kids live in a home led by someone who hasn’t graduated high school. Low educational attainment among Latino parents is driven primarily by weak educational attainment prior to arrival in the United States and language barriers. This rate is significantly lower for all other racial and ethnic groups measured.

Explore more education data — at the state and national level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.