High School Education

Education Research Topics:

  • To assess geographic patterns of less-educated adult populations, we use the educational attainment variable from The American Community Survey, which asks the level of education of all those in the household who are age 25 or older.  Information regarding the ACS can be found here. We focus on the percent of the population age 25 or older without a high school diploma or GED.  (Note: An age cut-off of 25 is commonly used in consideration of those who take longer than average to graduate or who return to complete high school or the GED after a gap for various reasons).


  • In assessing these data, it is important to consider both current statistics and trends over time—or to dig further into the data to understand the “whys”. For example: did the proportion without high school diplomas go down because less educated people were pushed out of the area, OR did it drop because, while those less educated residents remained, a high number of more highly educated adults moved in?