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Table 486. Participation rate of persons, 17 years old and over, in adult education during the previous 12 months, by selected characteristics of participants: Selected years, 1991 through 2005
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Characteristic of participant Percent taking any program, class, or course Percent taking specific programs, classes, or courses, 2005 Percent doing informal learning activities for personal interest, 2005
1991 1995 1999 2001 2005 Basic skills/General Educational Development (GED) classes English as a second language (ESL) classes Part-time post-secondary education1 Career
or job-related courses
Apprentice-
ship programs
Personal-interest courses
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Total 33.0   (0.68) 40.2 (0.48) 44.5 (0.77) 46.4 (0.55) 44.4 (0.74) 1.3   (0.22) 0.9   (0.17) 5.0   (0.29) 27.0   (0.63) 1.2   (0.18) 21.4   (0.71) 70.5 (0.79)
Sex                                                              
Male 32.6   (1.09) 38.2 (0.65) 41.7 (1.15) 43.1 (0.83) 41.0 (1.20) 1.4   (0.41) 0.9 ! (0.29) 5.0   (0.44) 24.5   (0.99) 1.7   (0.31) 18.3   (1.08) 70.8 (1.10)
Female 33.2   (0.97) 42.1 (0.59) 47.1 (1.02) 49.5 (0.78) 47.5 (1.01) 1.2   (0.19) 0.9   (0.15) 5.1   (0.37) 29.2   (0.95) 0.7   (0.15) 24.2   (0.88) 70.2 (1.03)
                                                               
Age                                                              
17 to 24 years old 37.8   (1.46) 47.0 (1.12) 49.9 (2.34) 52.8 (2.04) 52.8 (2.79) 6.0   (1.48) 1.7 ! (0.61) 11.5   (1.34) 21.3   (2.22) 2.7   (0.76) 26.3   (2.60) 69.2 (2.54)
25 to 29 years old 40.0   (2.33) 49.6 (1.31) 56.5 (2.53) 52.9 (2.60) 51.6 (3.82) 1.8   (0.48) 3.3 ! (1.48) 9.1   (1.50) 29.5   (2.48) 3.2 ! (1.06) 20.9   (2.78) 66.8 (3.75)
30 to 34 years old 37.6   (2.88) 47.3 (1.41) 56.2 (2.57) 53.7 (2.18) 52.7 (2.52) 1.9 ! (0.66) 1.6 ! (0.64) 8.4   (1.28) 33.8   (2.71) 2.5 ! (0.89) 23.2   (2.23) 73.8 (2.22)
35 to 39 years old 42.1   (2.71) 47.7 (1.15) 50.1 (2.43) 54.0 (1.71) 48.6 (3.21) 0.4 ! (0.16) 0.7 ! (0.26) 6.1   (0.90) 32.6   (3.29) 0.9 ! (0.36) 20.7   (2.67) 75.5 (2.69)
40 to 44 years old 49.2   (3.28) 50.9 (1.15) 50.5 (2.43) 53.5 (1.88) 48.9 (2.43) 0.8 ! (0.31) 0.6 ! (0.23) 4.7   (0.77) 34.8   (2.30) 0.9 ! (0.42) 23.4   (2.29) 71.5 (2.62)
45 to 49 years old 40.0   (2.43) 48.7 (1.66) 49.8 (2.69) 55.4 (2.02) 49.0 (2.09)   (†) 0.6 ! (0.25) 3.2   (0.48) 37.7   (1.83) 0.5 ! (0.23) 19.3   (1.88) 71.6 (2.52)
50 to 54 years old 26.8   (3.31) 42.5 (1.38) 47.2 (2.51) 51.1 (2.22) 46.6 (2.36)   (†) 0.3 ! (0.15) 4.5   (0.75) 35.2   (2.25) 0.6 ! (0.28) 20.3   (1.64) 75.6 (1.89)
55 to 59 years old 29.0   (3.74) 32.2 (1.66) 38.0 (2.60) 44.1 (1.98) 42.2 (2.78)   (†)   (†) 1.9   (0.43) 31.9   (2.39)   (†) 18.0   (1.63) 69.5 (2.56)
60 to 64 years old 17.4   (1.90) 23.7 (1.89) 31.4 (2.83) 30.8 (2.18) 37.9 (3.00)   (†)   (†) 0.9 ! (0.36) 20.9   (2.07)   (†) 24.1   (2.40) 71.4 (3.04)
65 to 69 years old 14.2   (2.97) 18.1 (1.46) 25.4 (2.54) 20.5 (1.74) 26.2 (2.67)   (†)   (†) 0.5 ! (0.22) 8.1   (1.36)   (†) 20.9   (2.41) 67.6 (2.52)
70 years old and over 8.6   (1.25) 13.8 (1.09) 15.0 (1.38) 21.7 (1.37) 21.5 (1.44)   (†)   (†)   (†) 4.0   (0.78)   (†) 17.9   (1.33) 62.9 (1.82)
                                                               
Racial/ethnic group                                                              
White 34.1   (0.82) 41.5 (0.54) 44.4 (0.89) 47.4 (0.59) 45.6 (0.84) 0.9   (0.23) 0.2 ! (0.08) 4.9   (0.35) 29.1   (0.70) 0.9   (0.17) 22.1   (0.87) 73.0 (0.92)
Black 25.9   (2.23) 37.0 (1.45) 46.3 (2.30) 43.3 (1.50) 46.4 (2.81) 1.9   (0.49)   (†) 5.4   (0.97) 27.0   (2.53) 1.5 ! (0.73) 23.7   (2.11) 65.3 (2.02)
Hispanic 31.4   (2.63) 33.7 (1.18) 41.3 (2.51) 41.7 (2.28) 37.8 (2.43) 2.6   (0.72) 5.6   (1.22) 5.7   (1.55) 16.9   (1.72) 2.2   (0.63) 15.4   (1.75) 57.5 (2.86)
Asian   (†) (†) (†) (†) 48.3 (5.39)   (†) 2.6 ! (1.03) 7.6 ! (2.62) 27.2   (4.70)   (†) 26.5   (5.06) 81.1 (4.10)
Pacific Islander   (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)
Asian/Pacific Islander 35.9   (5.55) 39.7 (2.92) 51.1 (4.63) 49.5 (3.81) (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native 29.3 ! (11.55) 38.8 (4.85) 36.3 (9.16) 50.2 (8.28) 36.3 (10.17)   (†)   (†) 4.4 ! (1.82) 23.0 ! (8.51)   (†) 13.0 ! (6.16) 70.6 (9.18)
Two or more races   (†) (†) (†) (†) 39.4 (4.94) 5.1 ! (2.17)   (†) 3.2 ! (1.07) 23.8   (4.06) 1.3 ! (0.59) 21.0   (4.13) 77.6 (5.28)
                                                               
Highest level of education
     completed
                                                             
8th grade or less 7.7   (1.44) 10.0 (1.10) 14.7 (2.92) 19.7 (2.84) 15.5 (2.47) 1.9   (0.57) 4.3 ! (1.70)   (†) 1.7 ! (0.55)   (†) 7.3   (1.24) 38.1 (3.27)
9th through 12th grade, no completion 15.8   (2.25) 20.2 (1.38) 25.6 (2.55) 25.5 (1.53) 27.2 (2.40) 7.9   (1.69) 1.1 ! (0.41) 2.1   (0.57) 7.6   (1.44) 1.5 ! (0.61) 12.5   (1.53) 55.7 (2.52)
High school completion 24.1   (1.10) 30.7 (0.84) 34.8 (1.37) 33.9 (1.07) 33.0 (1.62) 0.5 ! (0.24) 0.7 ! (0.24) 2.5   (0.36) 17.2   (1.18) 1.1 ! (0.35) 16.8   (1.27) 63.6 (1.93)
Some vocational/technical 34.2   (3.80) 41.9 (2.16) 41.1 (3.97) 50.7 (3.51) 43.3 (4.30)   (†)   (†) 4.5 ! (1.42) 28.3   (3.71)   (†) 23.2   (3.09) 77.6 (3.98)
Some college 41.4   (1.67) 49.3 (0.92) 51.1 (1.76) 57.4 (1.29) 51.1 (1.79)   (†)   (†) 8.6   (1.06) 28.8   (1.54) 1.4 ! (0.47) 26.8   (1.80) 79.8 (1.52)
Associate's degree 49.2   (5.82) 56.1 (1.85) 56.6 (2.93) 62.5 (2.15) 56.5 (3.64)   (†) 1.1 ! (0.51) 6.6   (1.42) 40.8   (3.27) 1.9 ! (0.66) 20.1   (2.48) 75.9 (3.70)
Bachelor's degree 51.1   (2.46) 56.9 (1.20) 60.3 (1.84) 64.5 (1.39) 59.8 (1.56)   (†) 0.4 ! (0.17) 6.3   (0.82) 44.1   (1.61) 0.4 ! (0.17) 28.6   (1.55) 79.3 (1.72)
Some graduate work (or study) 55.1   (2.90) 59.9 (1.55) 63.6 (1.96) 68.9 (1.64) 66.3 (1.99)   (†)   (†) 8.7   (0.86) 49.3   (2.15)   (†) 30.7   (1.77) 88.0 (1.06)
No degree   (†) 62.2 (2.67) 64.7 (4.39) 64.2 (3.54) 65.3 (4.84)   (†)   (†) 14.5   (2.55) 40.5   (4.68)   (†) 38.7   (4.81) 78.2 (4.34)
Master's   (†) 59.1 (1.88) 65.7 (2.64) 70.7 (2.10) 67.5 (2.59)   (†)   (†) 8.9   (1.31) 51.4   (2.81)   (†) 30.6   (2.04) 88.8 (1.33)
Doctor's   (†) 54.0 (6.99) 53.1 (4.73) 63.7 (3.98) 58.0 (4.94)   (†)   (†) 10.1 ! (3.14) 34.0   (4.53)   (†) 31.4   (3.95) 90.3 (3.26)
Professional   (†) 65.9 (3.91) 72.5 (5.75) 72.8 (3.79) 68.2 (5.77)   (†)   (†)   (†) 59.0   (6.35)   (†) 23.9   (4.35) 91.6 (2.15)
                                                               
Urbanicity                                                              
City   (†) (†) (†) (†) 45.8 (1.46) 1.4   (0.31) 1.6   (0.38) 5.7   (0.59) 26.3   (1.24) 1.8   (0.43) 22.5   (1.10) 69.2 (1.39)
Suburban   (†) (†) (†) (†) 46.9 (1.33) 0.9   (0.23) 0.9 ! (0.36) 5.8   (0.55) 29.7   (1.26) 0.9   (0.22) 23.4   (1.16) 73.4 (1.28)
Town   (†) (†) (†) (†) 41.8 (2.33) 2.7 ! (1.16) 0.4 ! (0.14) 4.2   (0.87) 25.6   (1.74) 0.5 ! (0.21) 18.5   (1.96) 70.5 (2.43)
Rural   (†) (†) (†) (†) 39.5 (2.04) 0.8   (0.22)   (†) 3.3   (0.59) 24.2   (1.38) 1.2 ! (0.40) 18.3   (1.76) 67.6 (1.76)
                                                               
Labor force status                                                              
In labor force 40.7   (0.96) 49.8 (0.69) 52.1 (0.94) (†) 52.3 (0.93) 1.4   (0.32) 0.8   (0.19) 6.4   (0.39) 37.1   (0.83) 1.5   (0.24) 21.9   (0.91) 73.0 (0.94)
Employed 42.0   (1.00) 50.7 (0.53) 52.5 (0.96) (†) 53.4 (0.94) 1.1   (0.31) 0.7   (0.20) 6.5   (0.39) 38.8   (0.83) 1.4   (0.24) 21.8   (0.94) 73.5 (1.01)
Unemployed 26.0   (3.24) 36.6 (1.91) 44.9 (4.60) (†) 37.8 (4.26) 5.8   (1.60) 1.9 ! (0.79) 5.2   (1.37) 13.5   (2.16)   (†) 22.1   (3.99) 66.7 (3.80)
Not in labor force 15.7   (0.91) 21.3 (0.69) 24.9 (1.17) (†) 27.6 (1.18) 1.1   (0.24) 1.3   (0.36) 2.3   (0.45) 5.7   (0.55) 0.6 ! (0.22) 20.5   (0.97) 65.2 (1.27)
                                                               
Occupation                                                              
Executive, administrative,
     or managerial occupations
49.3   (3.45) 55.8 (1.92) 57.0 (2.11) 66.2 (1.61) 64.1 (2.73)   (†)   (†) 6.0   (1.10) 51.8   (2.82)   (†) 28.8   (2.89) 78.6 (2.71)
Engineers, surveyors, and
     architects
62.6   (7.85) 65.5 (4.18) 79.8 (6.01) 68.1 (4.46) 71.2 (5.68)   (†)   (†) 9.3 ! (3.21) 55.6   (5.60)   (†) 31.4   (6.19) 81.1 (4.63)
Natural scientists and
     mathematicians
48.2   (9.86) 72.3 (3.52) 60.5 (6.74) 74.0 (4.46) 69.1 (4.63)   (†)   (†) 9.2   (2.49) 49.6   (5.27)   (†) 30.2   (4.53) 85.5 (5.16)
Social scientists and workers,
     religious workers, and lawyers
55.6   (6.01) 76.6 (2.61) 79.3 (4.35) 83.5 (3.05) 77.7 (4.11)   (†)   (†) 12.8   (3.16) 64.3   (4.42)   (†) 29.2   (3.52) 89.4 (2.78)
Teachers, elementary/secondary 56.0   (4.20) 54.8 (4.64) 66.5 (5.61) 79.9 (2.95) 79.7 (2.59)   (†)   (†) 8.3 ! (3.16) 65.0   (3.99)   (†) 31.7   (3.78) 83.8 (2.62)
Teachers: college, university,
     postsecondary institutions
45.5   (8.31) 76.7 (1.98) 78.4 (3.11) 69.4 (4.60) 61.3 (6.96)   (†)   (†)   (†) 49.0   (8.50)   (†) 19.5   (4.98) 91.7 (3.58)
Health diagnosing and treating
     practitioners
67.1   (13.73) 71.1 (5.78) 79.8 (9.02) 78.5 (6.38) 88.8 (5.59)   (†)   (†) 15.4   (2.47) 79.5   (6.59)   (†) 31.9   (9.15) 84.5 (5.63)
Registered nurses, pharmacists,
     dieticians, therapists, and
     physician's assistants
59.6   (6.69) 86.7 (2.47) 85.4 (4.10) 82.7 (3.83) 85.4 (4.05)   (†)   (†) 7.9   (2.17) 78.2   (4.89)   (†) 27.4   (3.73) 83.1 (3.92)
Writers, artists, entertainers,
     and athletes
42.9   (6.63) 49.9 (4.37) 50.0 (6.93) 46.8 (6.03) 52.5 (6.59)   (†)   (†) 5.4 ! (2.16) 27.8   (5.02)   (†) 35.3   (6.42) 88.2 (3.89)
Health technologists and technicians 68.6   (10.03) 74.8 (3.64) 66.9 (6.16) 85.6 (3.25) 72.1 (8.37)   (†)   (†) 6.0 ! (2.11) 63.2   (8.67)   (†) 24.6   (5.91) 75.6 (7.26)
Technologists and technicians, except
     health and engineering
53.0   (6.49) 64.3 (2.84) 59.6 (5.07) 70.2 (3.32) 33.8 (8.53)   (†)   (†) 7.1 ! (3.19) 29.1   (7.68)   (†) 6.2 ! (2.14) 76.0 (8.80)
Marketing and sales occupations 34.4   (2.38) 44.2 (1.34) 44.4 (2.73) 51.1 (2.10) 45.7 (3.00) 1.7 ! (0.59)   (†) 4.5   (0.88) 30.2   (2.77)   (†) 21.5   (2.43) 68.9 (3.37)
Administrative support occupations,
     including clerical
29.9   (1.74) 51.7 (1.25) 50.1 (2.29) 58.7 (1.72) 54.6 (2.70) 1.1 ! (0.53)   (†) 6.6   (0.98) 33.5   (2.70)   (†) 27.7   (2.18) 73.8 (2.33)
Service occupations 25.2   (1.82) 46.5 (1.38) 50.9 (2.74) 49.3 (2.24) 44.7 (2.47) 1.6   (0.39) 1.9 ! (0.88) 6.8   (1.42) 28.5   (2.64) 1.4 ! (0.57) 17.5   (2.10) 65.4 (2.71)
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
     occupations
14.3 ! (5.19) 26.4 (3.55) 34.3 (7.16) 46.4 (6.80) 44.4 (9.02)   (†)   (†)   (†) 20.3 ! (6.92)   (†) 21.6 ! (10.05) 64.0 (10.03)
Mechanics and repairers 32.1   (4.72) 47.6 (2.70) 42.2 (5.44) 35.1 (3.40) 40.1 (5.10)   (†)   (†) 6.0 ! (1.89) 27.4   (4.26) 3.8 ! (1.38) 12.7   (3.18) 69.3 (4.27)
Construction and extractive
     occupations
21.9   (3.38) 38.0 (2.45) 34.5 (4.78) 32.3 (3.19) 27.6 (3.73)   (†) 1.1 ! (0.49) 3.2 ! (1.08) 12.3   (2.54) 5.2 ! (1.89) 11.4   (2.72) 72.3 (4.48)
Precision production2 31.2   (6.09) 43.0 (4.32) 38.3 (8.48) 35.1 (6.19) 33.0 (3.98)   (†) 0.4 ! (0.16) 4.2 ! (1.42) 22.2   (3.41)   (†) 13.3   (2.99) 63.9 (3.46)
Production workers 21.1   (2.31) 30.7 (1.29) 38.0 (3.47) 39.4 (2.82) (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)
Transportation, material moving 20.7   (4.69) 28.4 (2.32) 33.3 (4.25) 30.4 (3.29) 34.6 (5.27)   (†)   (†)   (†) 14.7   (2.63) 3.2 ! (1.57) 11.2   (2.85) 60.8 (4.98)
Handler, equipment, cleaners,
     helpers, and laborers
20.8   (3.49) 25.1 (2.70) 19.6 (4.56) 18.2 (3.20) (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)
Miscellaneous occupations   (†) 56.6 (3.61) 43.0 (7.98) 64.9 (7.07) 39.2 (11.25)   (†)   (†)   (†) 15.7 ! (5.81)   (†) 7.8 ! (3.63) 52.2 (12.32)
                                                               
Annual household income                                                              
$5,000 or less 13.6   (1.70) 21.3 (1.59) 21.0 (3.22) 25.1 (2.92) 35.9 (4.83)   (†)   (†) 3.6 ! (1.52) 13.7   (4.00)   (†) 17.2   (3.59) 52.9 (4.97)
$5,001 to $10,000 17.5   (2.14) 23.9 (1.37) 24.5 (3.39) 28.0 (2.74) 29.6 (4.49) 2.4 ! (0.92) 1.5 ! (0.71) 1.7 ! (0.81) 8.4   (2.11)   (†) 21.8   (4.75) 61.0 (3.75)
$10,001 to $15,000 22.8   (2.60) 26.7 (1.61) 22.8 (2.45) 28.6 (2.30) 25.0 (3.41) 2.4   (0.69) 0.8 ! (0.33) 3.3 ! (1.17) 11.3   (2.52)   (†) 15.5   (3.14) 58.6 (4.43)
$15,001 to $20,000 21.9   (2.35) 31.8 (1.55) 31.4 (2.75) 30.2 (2.48) 24.3 (2.54) 1.0 ! (0.38)   (†) 3.3 ! (1.19) 10.1   (1.37) 2.6 ! (1.20) 12.9   (2.00) 61.1 (3.17)
$20,001 to $25,000 26.7   (3.20) 31.4 (1.27) 35.8 (2.81) 35.2 (2.27) 28.2 (2.51) 1.7 ! (0.78) 1.9 ! (0.62) 4.4   (1.26) 12.8   (2.04) 1.1 ! (0.50) 13.6   (1.88) 63.2 (3.11)
$25,001 to $30,000 32.1   (2.51) 37.9 (1.47) 36.7 (2.61) 38.3 (2.43) 38.6 (3.63)   (†) 1.3 ! (0.61) 6.8 ! (2.09) 20.2   (3.37)   (†) 18.4   (2.52) 71.0 (3.38)
$30,001 to $40,000 35.6   (1.84) 42.7 (0.86) 45.2 (2.05) 44.6 (1.54) 42.7 (2.65) 1.9 ! (0.65) 1.0 ! (0.49) 3.7   (0.68) 22.8   (2.27) 1.1 ! (0.39) 23.0   (2.49) 68.7 (2.36)
$40,001 to $50,000 44.8   (1.84) 46.8 (1.39) 47.9 (2.31) 49.1 (1.93) 41.4 (2.92) 1.6 ! (0.53)   (†) 2.9   (0.55) 22.4   (2.00) 1.5 ! (0.56) 20.5   (2.47) 71.9 (2.62)
$50,001 to $75,000 46.6   (2.03) 52.0 (0.94) 55.1 (1.80) 55.7 (1.48) 47.7 (1.74) 0.4 ! (0.19)   (†) 5.8   (0.69) 33.0   (1.37) 0.9 ! (0.36) 20.5   (1.67) 70.6 (2.15)
More than $75,000. 48.7   (3.15) 58.0 (1.27) 56.9 (1.66) (†) (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†)   (†) (†)
$75,001 to $100,000   (†) (†) (†) 59.7 (1.91) 56.4 (2.28)   (†)   (†) 7.5   (0.89) 38.6   (2.26) 1.8 ! (0.64) 25.3   (1.51) 75.0 (1.97)
More than $100,000   (†) (†) (†) 59.3 (1.82) 58.4 (2.11)   (†)   (†) 6.1   (0.70) 39.4   (1.80)   (†) 28.2   (1.62) 81.2 (1.68)
—Not available.
†Not applicable.
!Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) is 50 percent or greater.
1 Includes college and university degree programs, post-degree certificate programs, and vocational certificate programs.
2 For 2005, figures include "Production workers" occupations data.
NOTE: Adult education is defined as all education activities, except full-time enrollment in higher education credential programs. Data do not include persons enrolled in high school or below. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Adult Education Survey (AE-NHES:1991, AE-NHES:1995, AE-NHES:1999, and AE-NHES:2005) and Adult Education and Lifelong Learning Survey (AELL-NHES:2001) of the National Household Education Surveys Program. (This table was prepared November 2010.)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education