Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Allegheny County College Education Trends

The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted an interactive map that displays percentage of adults with college degrees. It spans 1940-2010, revealing how educational attainment changes over each decade. You can disaggregate by gender, race, and ethnic group. I looked at how Allegheny County measured up to the national average from 1970 to today. The national average is in the first column and Allegheny County is in the second column below:

1970: 10.7% 11.08%
1980: 16.2% 16.50%
1990: 20.3% 22.62%
2000: 24.4% 28.34%
2010: 27.5% 33.46%

Allegheny County trends along with the entire country in rising percentage of college graduates until 1990, when brain gain Pittsburgh begins to take off. That gap will get a lot wider over the next decade as talent continues to concentrate in the region.


Paul Hertneky said...

Thank you for calling this Chronicle study to my attention. A useful bit of research.

Like this: I took the degree/per population map and overlayed the 2008 presidential election results. Now, first let me say that I know very bright people without college degrees. But if you put those two maps together you get: Red States - 27 out of 30 below the national average; Blue States - 16 of 20 above the national average. I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

I know two branches of a Vietnamese family tree. Three of the four elders who immigrated here to the United States were from the city of Rach Gia on the Gulf of Thailand. The fourth was from somewhere in northern Vietnam, near Hanoi. None of them have college degrees, and they all voted Republican in 2008. Typical, huh?

Anyway, they have five children between them. (They had six, but one was killed in a car wreck four years ago.) Four of the five were voting age in 2008. The two eldest both earned Pharm.D's, which the youngest is pursuing right now. The third graduated from nursing school two years ago. College-educated racial minorities between the ages of 22 and 31 have to be a slam dunk for the Democrats, right? Wrong. All four voted Republican in 2008.

I'm just sayin'...