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Higher Education in the Fourth District

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According to the 2005 American Community Survey, 16.9% of West Virginia residents aged 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree. This is the lowest share of any state, 10 percentage points below the national average, and nearly 2 percentage points below Mississippi, the second-lowest state. Kentucky has a similarly low proportion of bachelor’s degree holders, the fourth-lowest share of any state. Nonetheless, both of these states have been gaining ground: Since 2000, West Virginia’s number of bachelor’s degree holders has increased by 20.2% and Kentucky’s by 18.5%, outpacing the U.S. average growth of 15.8%. In Ohio, 23.3% of residents hold a bachelor’s degree; in Pennsylvania, the share is 25.7%. The national mark is 27.2%.

Suggested citation: “Higher Education in the Fourth District,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 06-11, pp. 16, 11.15.2006.

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