Census Bureau Reports Fast Growth in Ph.D.s and Master's Degree Holders

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 23, 2013

“From 2002 to 2012, the highest rate of increases in education attainment levels were doctorate and master’s degrees, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. The population with a doctorate grew by about 1 million, or 45 percent, while those who held a master’s climbed by 5 million, or 43 percent. Meanwhile, the population with an associate degree rose by 5 million, or 31 percent. Those whose highest degree was a bachelor’s degree grew at a smaller rate: 25 percent to 41 million. Meanwhile, the number of those without a high school or GED diploma declined by 13 percent, falling to 25 million. The rates of increase for doctorate and master’s holders were not significantly different from one another. The statistics come from Educational Attainment in the United States: 2012, a series of national-level tables showing attainment levels by a wide range of demographic characteristics, including sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, household relationship, citizenship and nativity, labor force status, occupation and industry. Also included are detailed information on years of school completed, showing for each level of attainment exactly how many years of education adults have. A variety of historical time series tables going back to 1940 are also provided, as are graphs illustrating historical data.”

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