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Educational Attainment by Sex, 1910–2014

(percent of population age 25 and older)

Year Both sexes Male Female
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher1
4 or
more
years of
college2
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher1
4 or
more
years of
college2
Less than
5 years of
elementary
school
High school
completion
or higher1
4 or
more
years of
college2
19103 23.8% 13.5% 2.7%
19203 22.0 16.4 3.3
19303 17.5 19.1 3.9
1940 13.7 24.5 4.6 15.1% 22.7% 5.5% 12.4% 26.3% 3.8%
1950 11.1 34.3 6.2 12.2 32.6 7.3 10.0 36.0 5.2
1960 8.3 41.1 7.7 9.4 39.5 9.7 7.4 42.5 5.8
1970 5.3 55.2 11.0 5.9 55.0 14.1 4.7 55.4 8.2
1980 3.4 68.6 17.0 3.6 69.2 20.9 3.2 68.1 13.6
1985 2.7 73.9 19.4
1990 2.5 77.6 21.3 2.7 77.7 24.4 2.2 77.5 18.4
1995 1.9 81.7 23.0 2.0 81.7 26.0 1.7 81.6 20.2
2000 1.6 84.1 25.6 1.6 84.2 27.8 1.5 84.0 23.6
2005 1.6 85.2 27.6 1.7 84.9 28.9 1.5 85.4 26.5
2010 88.8 31.7 87.4 27.8 90.2 35.7
2014 88.3% 32.0% 87.7% 31.9% 88.9% 32.0%
NOTE: (—) = not available.
1. Data for years prior to 1993 include all persons with at least 4 years of high school.
2. Data for 1993 and later years are for persons with a bachelor's degree or higher.
3. Estimates based on Bureau of the Census retrojection of 1940 Census data on education by age.
Source: Based on data from the 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Bureau of the Census, U.S Census of Population, 1960, Vol. 1, part 1; Current Population Reports, Series P-20 and unpublished data; and 1960 Census Monograph, “Education of the American Population,” by John K. Folger and Charles B. Nam.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, and U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, various years.

School Enrollment and Educational Attainment