Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2010-015
July 2010

Chapter 7. Outcomes of Education

Indicator 27: Educational Attainment
      Snapshot of Hispanic and Asian Subgroups: Educational Attainment
Indicator 28: Unemployment Rates
Indicator 29: Median Income

The final chapter of this report discusses three measures of educational outcomes in adults. Indicator 27 looks at educational attainment and completion. In 2008, about 29 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 25 had at least a bachelor's degree, an increase of 6 percentage points from 1996. In 2008, 13 percent of Hispanic adults and 15 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native adults had obtained at least a bachelor's degree, compared with 52 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders, 33 percent of Whites, and 20 percent of Blacks.

Adults with higher levels of education had higher median incomes and lower unemployment rates than their less educated peers. In 2008, about 5 percent of the labor force ages 16 and over were unemployed. The unemployment rates for Hispanics (8 percent), Blacks (9 percent), American Indians/Alaska Natives (10 percent) and persons of two or more races (10 percent) were higher than the unemployment rates for Asians and Whites (4 percent each) (indicator 28). In general, higher unemployment rates were associated with lower levels of education for each racial/ethnic group. For example, the unemployment rate for Blacks without a high school credential was 22 percent, compared with 11 percent for Blacks with a high school credential and 4 percent for Blacks with at least a bachelor's degree. Finally, the median income in 2007 for all full-time, full-year workers ages 25 and over was $41,000 (indicator 29). White workers at all educational levels, other than doctorate or first-professional, had higher median incomes than Black workers at the same educational level. Similarly, Whites at all educational levels, other than master's, had higher median incomes than Hispanics at the same level.