Major Population Growth of Those with Graduate Degrees


If you have heard of the growing burden of student loans on society, there is a new report out from the U.S. Census Bureau that coincides with this trend. This is the growing rates of master's degrees and Ph.D. holders in America going quite literally through the roof. Information used for this report is based on statistics taken from about 100,000 addresses nationwide.

Among people 25 and older who had any earnings in 2011, average earnings were $59,415 for people with a bachelor's degree (but no graduate degree), compared with $32,493 for people with a high school diploma, but no college.

The Census news desk showed that from 2002 to 2012, the highest rate of increase in the level of education were in doctorate and master's degrees. In the past 10 years, the population with a doctorate grew by about 45%, or about 1 million people. The rise in the population with a master's degree rose by 43%, or about 5 million people.

Educational growth is expanding elsewhere as well. The population with an associate degree rose by about 31%, or about 5 million people. The population in America with a bachelor's degree as their highest form of higher education grew by only 25% to 41 million, while those without a high school or GED diploma fell by 13% to 25 million.

This latest finding from the Census broke the results down by race, sex, marital status and more. The report said:

Women outnumbered men in 2012 among people whose highest level of education was a bachelor's degree (21 million versus 19 million) or a master's degree (9 million compared with 7.4 million). Conversely, more men had doctorate (2 million versus 1.2 million) or professional degrees (1.8 million compared with 1.2 million).

More data on each group can be found here.

Getting a master's degree or a doctorate generally comes at a hefty price tag. Students are exiting law school and other higher education degrees often with debt of $100,000 or more. For doctors, it is often much more than that.

Here is a fairly recent report conducted by 24/7 Wall St.: The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Compensation, Economy, Infrastructure, Labor, Labor & Unions, Personal Finance

Originally published