Rural Americans have improved their educational attainment during the past 40 years, but the gap between rural and urban areas for residents with college degrees is growing, according to a new analysis by rural advocates.
Rural areas are seeing an increasing percentage of residents who have only a high school diploma, while the rest of the country is seeing a decrease in that percentage.
The Daily Yonder, an online news site that covers issues affecting small communities, and the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University worked together on a project that looked at how achievement in rural America has changed. They found that rural areas have made progress on the percentage of residents who obtained some sort of postsecondary education (up from 7.8 percent in 1970 to 27.4 percent in 2010) and the percentage of adults with less than a high school education (down from 59.4 percent in 1970 to 18.9 percent in 2010).
A version of this article appeared in the April 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Improvements Seen in Rural Achievement