April 3, 2012
What a difference seven decades can make
Yesterday, the U.S. Census released a report entitled “Then and Now,” comparing American life between 2010 and the National Archive records from 1940 (also released this week). The report found college graduation has increased significantly over the past 70 years as the American Economy has grown and evolved. The bad news is, it has only reached just over 28 percent.
A few thing have changed in the American economy over the same seven-decade period. Today’s economy requires more highly skilled workers than ever before, and that number trend will only continue. Education is a critical component to our economy.
Utah’s college graduation rate in 1940 was 6.2 percent–one of the five highest in the nation. According to the 2010 Census, 29.4 percent of Utahns 25 and older have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. So the good news is, a much higher percentage of Utahns are now earning college degrees than 70 hers ago, but our current rate leaves us nearly 10 points behind Massachusetts at 39 percent and over 20 points behind District of Columbia’s 50 percent.
Utah needs to reverse a 70 year trend of sliding down the list of college graduation rates, and we need to do it in the next eight years. Luckily, we have a plan. More…Posted by: psilberman