The Education Trust Examines African American Degree Attainments by State

A new report published by The Education Trust finds that 30.8 percent of all African American adults have earned at least an associate’s degree, compared to 47.1 percent of White American adults.

Nearly 22 percent of Black adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 37 percent of White adults. And 7.8 percent of Black adults hold a graduate degree compared to 13.4 percent of White adults.

The report also breaks down the data by state. Just over 40 percent of Black adults in New Mexico have earned a higher education degree, the highest percentage in the nation. Hawaii ranks second and Colorado third.

The state with the lowest level of degree attainment for African American adults is Louisiana. There, only 20.7 percent of all Black adults have a higher education degree. Arkansas, Wisconsin and West Virginia have the next lowest rates of degree attainment for African Americans.

The largest racial gap between Black and White adults is in the state of Connecticut. There, 31.5 percent of Black adults have a degree compared to 55 percent of White adults. The lowest racial gaps are in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Since 2000 the percentage of Black adults with a higher education degree improved by 12.6 percentage points in the state of Nebraska, the highest rate in the nation. Virginia and North Carolina had the next highest rates of improvement. The slowest progress was in Utah, Minnesota, and Rhode Island.

The full report, Degree Attainment for Black Adults: National and State Trends, can be downloaded by clicking here.

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  1. Does an associates degree merit a higher education degree, or is that stat just referring to a bachelor degrees?

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