Report Shows Highest National Postsecondary Attainment Rate in U.S.

Lumina Foundation’s "2017 A Stronger Nation" Tracks State, County, and Metro-Area Data

(Indianapolis, IN, Thursday, August, 10, 2017) - Data released by Lumina Foundation in its annual A Stronger Nation report indicates 45.8 percent of Americans ages 25 to 64 held a postsecondary credential in 2015, a slight increase from the 2014 rate of 45.3 percent. Since 2008, the national attainment rate has risen by 7.9 percentage points.

In addition to America’s overall attainment rate, Lumina tracks postsecondary attainment levels statewide and countywide. The five states with the highest attainment rates are: Massachusetts – 55.2%; Colorado – 54.7%; Minnesota – 53.5%; Connecticut – 53.5%; Washington – 52.1%. The five states with the lowest attainment rates are: West Virginia – 32.9%; Nevada – 35.6%; Mississippi – 36.6%; Alabama – 37.1%; Idaho – 38.7%.

A Stronger Nation also reports data showing continued inequality in postsecondary attainment across different race and ethnicity groups. Among Americans ages 25 to 64:

  • Hispanics recorded the lowest attainment rate at 21.3 percent;
  • Asian and Pacific Islanders posted a rate of 61.2 percent; and
  • The African American rate of attainment was 29.3 percent.

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