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Indicator 4 3 : Adults with college education

Goal: Minnesota's workforce will have the education and training to make the state a leader in the global economy. This goal focuses on the need for a high-quality workforce that will keep Minnesota competitive in the world economy. While good indicators exist to measure Minnesotans' education attainment levels, equally good data is not available to measure workforce training. Concerns exist on how well Minnesota students are prepared for the occupations most in need of workers.

Rationale: Measuring the percentage of Minnesotans with higher education degrees and experience provides insight into the skills of Minnesota's workforce and how it compares internationally.

Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with some college

Year
198034.5%
199045.5%
199452.2%
199552.2%
199961.6%
200059.1%
graph
Local data

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a Bachelor's degree

Year
198017.3%
199020.1%
199122.3%
199323.3%
199426.3%
199526.5%
199626.3%
199728.3%
199831%
199932%
200027.4%
graph
Local data

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree

Year
19805%
19905.8%
20008.3%
graph
Local data

Data source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

About this indicator: The percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with at least some college education rose to 59.1 percent in 2000, a significant increase from 45.5 percent in 1990. States and countries with a better-educated adult population tend to have stronger economies and a higher standard of living. A workforce that is well educated, especially in the fastest-growing fields, also gives Minnesota a competitive advantage in attracting new businesses and industries.

The percentage of Minnesotans with at least a bachelor's degree rose from 20 percent in 1990 to 27.4 percent in 2000. During the same period, the percentage of Minnesotans with a graduate or professional degree increased from 5.8 percent to 8.3 percent.

For comparison: Minnesota continues to have one of the best-educated populations in the country. At 59.1 percent, the percent of Minnesotans age 25 and over with some college experience was well above the national rate of 51.8 percent. However, Minnesota's rate of 8.3 percent for those holding graduate or professional degrees was below the national rate of 8.9 percent.

Things to think about: A college degree can mean as much as $600,000 more in lifetime earnings, compared to a high school degree, according to the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office. However, four-year college degrees are not the most appropriate path for some students and some professions. Two-year degree programs provide appropriate preparation for many available jobs.

Technical notes: Data between census years is from the Current Population Survey-March supplement on educational attainment. Data for the percentage of Minnesotans with "at least some college" is only available in certain years.

Sources:

  • U.S. Bureau of the Census, Decennial Census, 1980 and 1990, www.census.gov
  • U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (for other years), www.bls.census.gov/cps/cpsmain.htm

Related indicators:

Other related indicators:

  • College enrollment by age, gender, and race or ethnic origin (Minnesota Higher Education Services Office, www.mheso.state.mn.us)
  • Five-year college graduation rates (University of Minnesota, www1.umn.edu; Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, www.mnscu.edu; and Minnesota Private College Council, www.mn-colleges.org)
  • Minnesota's share of national research and development spending (National Science Foundation, National Patterns of R&D Resources, www.nsf.gov)
  • Minnesota's share of U.S. patents (U.S. Department of Commerce, http://home.doc.gov)

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Retrieve county data for: Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree

Create Map: Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a graduate or professional degree

Select a Year to have a state map drawn which displays the data for the year you choose.

Retrieve county data for: Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a Bachelor's degree

Create Map: Percentage of Minnesotans age 25 and older with a Bachelor's degree

Select a Year to have a state map drawn which displays the data for the year you choose.

Technical problems? Contact: demography.helpline@state.mn.us