U.S. educational attainment by race

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the highest level of education attained. In an equal society, we would expect to see roughly similar levels of educational attainment across races.

Here, we see that while 1.3% of Whites had less than a 9th grade education, more than twice that percentage (2.3x) of Blacks had less than a 9th grade education. Likewise for those that completed some high school, but didn’t finish. Just over 4% of Whites fell into this category, while it was more than 9% for Blacks (2.2x differential).

The data flips for higher levels of education. A full 25% of Whites earned a bachelor’s degree, while just 16.6% of Blacks did (1.5x differential). The gap widens further for advanced degrees. 15% of Whites had an advanced degree and 9.5% of Blacks had one (1.6x differential).

Education level at >25 years old by race (percentage of total)

Less than 9th grade9th to 12th grade (no diploma)High school graduateSome college or associate’s degreeBachelor’s degreeAdvanced degree
White1.3%4.1%27.4%27.1%25.0%15.1%
Black3.0%9.2%32.6%29.2%16.6%9.5%
Other11.5%9.8%27.6%21.0%18.9%11.2%
Total3.9%6.0%28.1%25.9%22.6%13.5%
Source: Census.gov
https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/race/ppl-ba19.html

Education level at >25 years old by race (number, in thousands)

Less than 9th grade9th to 12th grade (no diploma)High school graduateSome college or associate’s degreeBachelor’s degreeAdvanced degree
White1,8565,83039,09438,62435,64221,511
Black8102,5148,9448,0134,5442,604
Other5,9375,02814,22110,7919,7515,765
Source: Census.gov
https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/race/ppl-ba19.html

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