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The U.S. Census Bureau gathers myriad statistics related to personal income, here are a few interesting stats comparing a 10 year range from 1998 to 2008. The census information from 1998 shows that for respondents older than 25 years of age, roughly a quarter of them had a bachelors degree (~24%). From the same study, they show that of those respondents over 25, 83% had a high school diploma. Ten years later in 2008, we find that 29% of adults 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree, and 87% had a high school diploma. This shows that from 1998 to 2008, there was a 20% increase in individuals with a bachelors degree.
In 2008, there were more women than men (over 25 years of age) with a bachelor’s or higher. The number of women with a bachelors degree or higher was 29.4 million versus 28.4million men with those same degrees (a difference of 1 million). However, of those individuals with a higher degree there were more men with a professional (MBA, JD, etc) or doctorate degree (PhD, MD, etc). Whereas the women tended to have more HS diplomas, associates, bachelors and masters degrees.
What is the relation between education, salary and employment
In a nutshell, it pays to get an advanced degree. The more education you have under your belt, the higher your potential pay. The chart below shows you the Unemployment rate and weekly earnings based on education level.
A Few Interesting Facts Related to Education and Pay
  • On average, an individual with a bachelor’s degree earned on average $25,895 more per year than those with a HS diploma
    ( $57,181 with a bachelors vs $31,286 with a HS degree)
  • Relating to ones ethnicity, we find that the breakdown of specific ethnic groups with a bachelors degree or higher are as follows: 53% for Asians in America, 33% for non–Hispanic whites, 20% for Blacks and 13% for Hispanics
  • Gen XYZ vs Baby Boomers: For young adults between 25 and 30 (in 2008) 88% have a high school degree and a little more than a third of those have a college degree (31%). For the Baby Boomer generation (75 and up) only 73% had a HS diploma and only 17% had finished a college education (almost 50% less than the Gen XYZers)

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