College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

Student Demographics

By Sarah D. Sparks — December 09, 2014 1 min read
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American young adults are better educated than older generations were at the same age, but they are significantly more likely to live in poverty than young adults in 1980, according to a new data analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census researchers found Americans ages 18 to 34 earn $2,000 less per year today than Americans of these ages earned in 1980, after correcting for inflation, though the percentage graduating college has risen from a little more than 15 percent to more than 22 percent since 1980. Young people’s progress varied considerably in different states. In Massachusetts, young adults earn on average $6,500 more than they would have three decades ago, while those in Michigan, Wyoming, and Alaska earn $9,000 less than they did in 1980. Similarly, college graduation rates in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states like Maryland and Virginia have grown by double digits, but have flattened in the Midwest.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as Student Demographics

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