Education Pays...and Helps to Keep You Employed
Earn More With A Bachelor's Degree
April 27, 2009—The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that workers with a bachelor's degree earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma, according to new figures that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels.
The tables also show that in 2008, 29% of adults 25 and older had a bachelor's degree, and 87% had completed high school. That compares with 24% of adults who had a bachelor's degree, and 83% who had completed high school in 1998.
In 2008, 29.4 million women and 28.4 million men 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher. Women had a larger share of high school diplomas, as well as associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. More men than women had a professional or doctoral degree.
Education, Earnings, and Employment: How They Relate
Additional Education and Earnings Highlights:
- Workers with a high school degree earned an average of $31,286 in 2007, while those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $57,181.
- The race and Hispanic origin data show that 53% of Asians in the U.S. had a bachelor's degree or more education. For non-Hispanic whites, it was 33%; for blacks; it was 20%; and for Hispanics, it was 13%.
- Among younger adults (age 25-29), 88% had completed high school, and 31% had completed college. Among adults 75 and over, 73% had completed high school and 17% had completed college.
Where Do the Education and Earnings Data Come From?
Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 is a series of tables containing data by characteristics such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, occupation, industry, nativity, citizenship status and period of entry. The tabulations also include historical data on mean earnings by educational attainment, sex, race and Hispanic origin.
The data in Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 are from the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide.
Source: These data are from the Current Population Survey (CPS) from 2008. Statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, see Current Population Survey, Appendix G.