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The Population With a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher by Race and Hispanic Origin: 2006–2010

Report Number ACSBR/10-19
Stella U. Ogunwole, Malcolm P. Drewery, Jr., and Merarys Rios-Vargas


This report examines people aged 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher among racial and Hispanic-origin groups. As the U.S. population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, it is important to examine educational attainment among population groups, which is a strong predictor of economic well-being. Also, government agencies require data on educational attainment for funding allocations and program planning and implementation, while local governments use information on educational attainment to attract potential employers to their areas.

The estimates presented in this report are based on 2006–2010 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates from the Selected Population Tables and the American Indian and Alaska Native Tables. These two new data products use ACS data aggregated over a 5-year period to provide more reliable estimates of detailed social, economic, and housing characteristics for many race, tribal, Hispanic, and ancestry population groups at multiple levels of geography.

In this brief, estimates are presented at the national and state levels. These estimates come from a question on educational attainment classified by the highest degree or the highest level of school completed. Those currently enrolled in school were requested to report the level of the previous grade attended or the highest degree received. This brief presents estimates for the population that is 25 years and older by the highest degree completed: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, professional degree beyond a bachelor’s degree, or a doctorate degree.

The U.S. Census Bureau collects race and Hispanic origin information in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).1 The question on race asks respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves to be. There are a minimum of five race categories: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Also, the U.S. Census Bureau includes a Some Other Race category for respondents unable to identify with any of the five OMB race categories. Respondents are permitted to report more than one race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents if they are of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race. All the estimates in this report are based on self-identification.

1 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, issued by OMB in 1997, is available at <>.


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