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Digest of Education Statistics
2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest


Table 371. 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
Characteristic of participant Percent participating in any program Percent participating, 2005
1991 1995 1999 2001 In any program In basic skills/General Educational Development (GED) classes In English as a second language (ESL) classes In part-time post-secondary education1  In career or job-related courses In apprentice programs In personal-interest courses Percent in informal learning activities for personal interest, 2005
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Total 33.0 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 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 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 37.8 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 40.0 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 37.6 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 42.1 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 49.2 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 40.0 48.7 (1.66) 49.8 (2.69) 55.4 (2.02) 49.0 (2.09) 0.6 (0.30) 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 26.8 42.5 (1.38) 47.2 (2.51) 51.1 (2.22) 46.6 (2.36) 0.2 (0.11) 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 29.0 32.2 (1.66) 38.0 (2.60) 44.1 (1.98) 42.2 (2.78) 0.4 (0.29) 0.4 (0.26) 1.9 (0.43) 31.9 (2.39) 0.3 (0.17) 18.0 (1.63) 69.5 (2.56)
60 to 64 years 17.4 23.7 (1.89) 31.4 (2.83) 30.8 (2.18) 37.9 (3.00) (†) 0.4 (0.29) 0.9 (0.36) 20.9 (2.07) 0.3 (0.20) 24.1 (2.40) 71.4 (3.04)
65 to 69 years 14.2 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 and over 8.6 13.8 (1.09) 15.0 (1.38) 21.7 (1.37) 21.5 (1.44) 0.2 (0.10) (†) 0.3 (0.23) 4.0 (0.78) (†) 17.9 (1.33) 62.9 (1.82)
                                               
Racial/ethnic group                                              
White 34.1 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 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 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) 1.2 (0.65) 2.6 (1.03) 7.6 (2.62) 27.2 (4.70) (†) 26.5 (5.06) 81.1 (4.10)
Pacific Islander (—) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) 3.5 (3.71) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Asian/Pacific Islander 35.9 39.7 (2.92) 51.1 (4.63) 49.5 (3.81) (†) (†) (†) 5.9 (3.05) (†) (†) (†) (†)
American Indian/Alaska Native 29.3 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)
More than one race (—) (†) (†) 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 10.0 (1.10) 14.7 (2.92) 19.7 (2.84) 15.5 (2.47) 1.9 (0.57) 4.3 (1.70) 0.4 (0.23) 1.7 (0.55) 1.7 (0.91) 7.3 (1.24) 38.1 (3.27)
9th through 12th grade, no completion 15.8 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 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 41.9 (2.16) 41.1 (3.97) 50.7 (3.51) 43.3 (4.30) 0.5 (0.55) (†) 4.5 (1.42) 28.3 (3.71) (†) 23.2 (3.09) 77.6 (3.98)
Some college 41.4 49.3 (0.92) 51.1 (1.76) 57.4 (1.29) 51.1 (1.79) 0.3 (0.18) 0.8 (0.52) 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 56.1 (1.85) 56.6 (2.93) 62.5 (2.15) 56.5 (3.64) 0.5 (0.40) 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 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 59.9 (1.55) 63.6 (1.96) 68.9 (1.64) 66.3 (1.99) (†) 0.5 (0.32) 8.7 (0.86) 49.3 (2.15) 1.2 (0.61) 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) (†) 0.9 (0.52) 8.9 (1.31) 51.4 (2.81) 1.4 (0.97) 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) (†) (†) 1.9 (1.01) 59.0 (6.35) (†) 23.9 (4.35) 91.6 (2.15)
                                               
Urbanicity                                              
Urban 34.5 41.8 (0.59) 46.0 (0.88) 48.0 (0.70) 45.7 (0.87) 1.4 (0.28) 1.1 (0.21) 5.5 (0.34) 27.8 (0.79) 1.2 (0.20) 22.2 (0.72) 71.4 (0.86)
Urban, inside urbanized area 42.3 (0.64) 46.5 (0.95) 49.3 (0.78) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Urban, outside urbanized area 39.5 (1.12) 43.4 (2.23) 41.6 (1.70) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Rural 28.3 35.4 (0.98) 39.9 (1.58) 41.6 (1.17) 39.2 (2.06) 0.8 (0.22) 0.3 (0.15) 3.5 (0.62) 23.7 (1.39) 1.1 (0.40) 18.5 (1.76) 67.2 (1.77)
                                               
Labor force status                                              
In labor force 40.7 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 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 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) 2.1 (1.23) 22.1 (3.99) 66.7 (3.80)
Not in labor force 15.7 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 55.8 (1.92) 57.0 (2.11) 66.2 (1.61) 64.1 (2.73) 0.2 (0.24) (†) 6.0 (1.10) 51.8 (2.82) 0.4 (0.24) 28.8 (2.89) 78.6 (2.71)
Engineers, surveyors, and architects 62.6 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 72.3 (3.52) 60.5 (6.74) 74.0 (4.46) 69.1 (4.63) (†) (†) 9.2 (2.49) 49.6 (5.27) 2.0 (1.47) 30.2 (4.53) 85.5 (5.16)
Social scientists and workers, religious workers, and lawyers 55.6 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 55.0 54.8 (4.64) 66.5 (5.61) 79.9 (2.95) 79.7 (2.59) (†) 1.6 (1.00) 8.3 (3.16) 65.0 (3.99) 0.6 (0.34) 31.7 (3.78) 83.8 (2.62)
Teachers, postsecondary and counselors, librarians, and archivists 45.5 76.7 (1.98) 78.4 (3.11) 69.4 (4.60) 61.3 (6.96) (†) (†) 4.7 (3.22) 49.0 (8.50) (†) 19.5 (4.98) 91.7 (3.58)
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners 67.1 71.1 (5.78) 79.8 (9.02) 78.5 (6.38) 88.8 (5.59) 0.6 (0.55) (†) 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 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 49.9 (4.37) 50.0 (6.93) 46.8 (6.03) 52.5 (6.59) 0.2 (0.23) (†) 5.4 (2.16) 27.8 (5.02) 2.2 (1.53) 35.3 (6.42) 88.2 (3.89)
Health technologists and technicians 68.6 74.8 (3.64) 66.9 (6.16) 85.6 (3.25) 72.1 (8.37) 0.2 (0.16) (†) 6.0 (2.11) 63.2 (8.67) 1.7 (1.23) 24.6 (5.91) 75.6 (7.26)
Technologists and technicians, except health 55.4 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 44.2 (1.34) 44.4 (2.73) 51.1 (2.10) 45.7 (3.00) 1.7 (0.59) 0.4 (0.26) 4.5 (0.88) 30.2 (2.77) 1.4 (0.80) 21.5 (2.43) 68.9 (3.37)
Administrative support occupations, including clerical 29.9 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) 1.3 (0.63) 27.7 (2.18) 73.8 (2.33)
Service occupations 25.2 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 26.4 (3.55) 34.3 (7.16) 46.4 (6.80) 44.4 (9.02) 3.9 (3.49) 5.7 (4.02) 1.1 (0.89) 20.3 (6.92) 2.3 (1.53) 21.6 (10.05) 64.0 (10.03)
Mechanics and repairers 32.1 47.6 (2.70) 42.2 (5.44) 35.1 (3.40) 40.1 (5.10) 0.5 (0.40) (†) 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 38.0 (2.45) 34.5 (4.78) 32.3 (3.19) 27.6 (3.73) 1.2 (0.68) 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 43.0 (4.32) 38.3 (8.48) 35.1 (6.19) 33.0 (3.98) 0.5 (0.37) 0.4 (0.16) 4.2 (1.42) 22.2 (3.41) 1.5 (0.81) 13.3 (2.99) 63.9 (3.46)
Production workers 21.1 30.7 (1.29) 38.0 (3.47) 39.4 (2.82) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†) (†)
Transportation, material moving 20.7 28.4 (2.32) 33.3 (4.25) 30.4 (3.29) 34.6 (5.27) 4.7 (3.29) 3.3 (2.35) 1.3 (0.76) 14.7 (2.63) 3.2 (1.57) 11.2 (2.85) 60.8 (4.98)
Handler, equipment, cleaners, helpers, and laborers 20.8 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 21.3 (1.59) 21.0 (3.22) 25.1 (2.92) 35.9 (4.83) 3.3 (2.17) 1.8 (1.04) 3.6 (1.52) 13.7 (4.00) 2.3 (1.89) 17.2 (3.59) 52.9 (4.97)
$5,001 to $10,000 17.5 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 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) 0.9 (0.66) 15.5 (3.14) 58.6 (4.43)
$15,001 to $20,000 21.9 31.8 (1.55) 31.4 (2.75) 30.2 (2.48) 24.3 (2.54) 1.0 (0.38) 0.5 (0.30) 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 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 37.9 (1.47) 36.7 (2.61) 38.3 (2.43) 38.6 (3.63) 1.4 (0.72) 1.3 (0.61) 6.8 (2.09) 20.2 (3.37) 0.7 (0.38) 18.4 (2.52) 71.0 (3.38)
$30,001 to $40,000 35.6 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 46.8 (1.39) 47.9 (2.31) 49.1 (1.93) 41.4 (2.92) 1.6 (0.53) 2.4 (1.25) 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 52.0 (0.94) 55.1 (1.80) 55.7 (1.48) 47.7 (1.74) 0.4 (0.19) 0.3 (0.17) 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 58.0 (1.27) 56.9 (1.66) 59.5 (1.29) 57.5 (1.49) 1.1 (0.53) 0.5 (0.23) 6.7 (0.58) 39.1 (1.35) 1.3 (0.38) 26.9 (1.13) 78.5 (1.34)
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
‡ Reporting standards not met.
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. Standard errors appear in parentheses.
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 May 2008.)

2008 Tables and Figures All Years of Tables and Figures Most Recent Full Issue of the Digest