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July 30 - August 12, 2004


Education Pays - U.S. Census Bureau Reports

In Washington, D.C., about 46 percent of people 25 and over had at least a bachelor's degree, higher than any state, in 2002.  Massachusetts, Maryland and Colorado led all states at about 38 percent.

Among races, Asians had the highest proportion of college graduates at 50 percent. About 30 percent of non-Hispanic Whites and 17 percent of Blacks had at least a bachelor's degree.

In 2002, average earnings by highest level of education were

  • $72,824 for those with advanced degrees
  • $51,194 for bachelor's degree-holders
  • $27,280 for high school graduates
  • $18,826 for nongraduates.

More Education Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau

Long-Term Rewards for Staying in School

$4.4 million is the estimated lifetime earnings for professional (i.e., medical, law,  dentistry and veterinary medicine) degree-holders.  This compares with $3.4 million for those with PhDs, $2.5 million for master's degree-holders, $2.1 million for those with bachelor's degrees, $1.2 million for high school graduates and $1.0 million for high school dropouts.

Blacks Are Finishing High School
The percentage of non-Hispanic Whites (89 percent) and Blacks (80 percent) who had a high school diploma or higher marked new highs.  The proportion of Blacks rose by 10 percentage points from 1993 to 2003, while non-Hispanic Whites saw an increase of 5 percentage points in this category.

Government Spending on  Education

The District of Columbia led the nation with the highest per-pupil expenditure on elementary and secondary education in 2002.  The top fives states, including the District, were:
  • District of Columbia, at $13,187
  • New York, at $11,546
  • New Jersey, $11,436                                                          
  • Connecticut, $10,001                                                     
  • Massachusetts,  $9,856 
College Costs Are Rising
  • $29,119 is the average cost of  tuition, room and board at the  nation's four-year private colleges and universities for one complete academic year; that is up 93 percent from 1990.
  • $9,953 is the average cost of  tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation's four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year;  that is up 87 percent from 1990.
Teachers' Pay                                
  • $54,300 was the average annual salary of public elementary and secondary school teachers in California in 2002, the highest of any state in the nation.     
  • Teachers in South Dakota  received the lowest  pay at $31,300.
  • The national average was $44,700. 

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