You wouldn’t know by the moment that we live in where an alarming population of Americans who believe Donald Trump is restoring the country’s standing in the world, climate change is a myth, vaccinations cause autism, former president Barak Obama is a Kenyan sleeper agent, and chocolate milk comes from brown cows, but as a nation we are the most educated we’ve ever been.
That’s what a Census report from 2017 says anyways. If college completion correlates at all with intelligence we should be pretty damn smart today.
“More than one-third of the adult population in the United States has a bachelor’s degree or higher marking the first time in decades of data,” the report says.
Here are some other highlights:
- The Asian and non-Hispanic white populations were more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, 55.9 percent and 37.3 percent, respectively, when compared with the black population at 23.3 percent and the Hispanic population at 16.4 percent in 2016.
- Of the U.S. population 25 years and older, 89.1 percent had completed high school (or equivalent) or more education in 2016. A decade earlier, in 2006, 85.5 percent had completed high school or more education.
- In 2016, average earnings for males age 25 and older whose highest educational attainment was high school were $41,942. By comparison, average earnings among females in this category in 2016 were $26,832.
- In 2016, average earnings for males age 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree were $79,927. By comparison, average earnings for females in this category in 2016 were $50,856.
- Bachelor’s degree attainment varied by citizenship and nativity. The native born were more likely than the foreign-born to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (33.6 percent vs 32.4 percent). Among the foreign-born, 38.4 percent of naturalized citizens had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 26.5 percent of noncitizens.
To see how different generations stack up, see this from Pew.