Two States, Two Very Different Educational Attainment Rates

Posted November 17, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog twostatestwoverydifferent 2017

In Mis­sis­sip­pi, just 22% of work­ing-age res­i­dents have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. This edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment rate includes indi­vid­u­als ages 25 to 65, tying with West Vir­ginia as the low­est in the nation.

On the oth­er end of the spec­trum: Mass­a­chu­setts sits in first place, with 45% of its work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion hav­ing earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

These two states occu­py the same first and last posi­tions when it comes to medi­an fam­i­ly income. Mis­sis­sip­pi reports the low­est medi­an income among house­holds with chil­dren ($47,700) and Mass­a­chu­setts reports the high­est ($98,400). Nation­wide, the medi­an fam­i­ly income for house­holds with chil­dren was $68,000 in 2016.

High­er lev­els of edu­ca­tion open doors to a broad­er range of jobs that pay high­er wages. Edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment also low­ers stress, improves health and enhances an individual’s socio-emo­tion­al well-being.

Nation­wide, the per­cent­age of 25- to 34-year-olds who have earned a bachelor’s degree or high­er has jumped from 30% to 33% in just six years. This trend is an encour­ag­ing one, as kids and young adults must have access to aca­d­e­m­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties that can help them secure well-pay­ing jobs as adults.

Access eco­nom­ic and edu­ca­tion data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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