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Educational Attainment by Race and Hispanic Origin, 1940–2014

(percent of population age 25 and older, by years of school completed)

Month and year White1 Black1 Hispanic
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher2
4 or
more
years of
college3
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher2
4 or
more
years of
college3
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher2
4 or
more
years of
college3
April 1940 10.9% 26.1% 4.9% 41.8% 7.7% 1.3%
April 1950 8.9 36.4 6.6 32.6 13.7 2.2
April 1960 6.7 43.2 8.1 23.5 21.7 3.5
March 1970 4.2 57.4 11.6 14.7 36.1 6.1
March 1980 1.9 71.9 18.4 9.1 51.4 7.9 15.8% 44.5% 7.6%
March 1985 1.4 77.5 20.8 6.1 59.9 11.1 13.5 47.9 8.5
March 1990 1.1 81.4 23.1 5.1 66.2 11.3 12.3 50.8 9.2
March 1995 0.7 85.9 23.4 2.5 73.8 13.3 10.6 53.4 9.3
March 2000 0.5 88.4 28.1 1.6 78.9 16.6 8.7 57.0 10.6
March 2005 0.5 90.1 30.5 1.5 81.5 17.7 7.9 58.5 12.0
2010 87.6 30.3 84.2 19.8 62.9 13.9
2014 88.8% 32.3% 85.8% 22.2% 66.52% 15.2%
NOTE: (—) = not available.
1. Includes persons of Hispanic origin for years prior to 1980.
2. Data for years prior to 1993 include all persons with at least 4 years of high school.
3. Data for 1993 and later years are for persons with a bachelor's or higher degree.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population, 1960, Vol. 1, part 1; Current Population Reports, Series P-20 and unpublished data; and 1960 Census Monograph, “Education of the American Population,” by John K. Folger and Charles B. Nam. From U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2007, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States.

School Enrollment and Educational Attainment