Is Rural Education Keeping Up?

April 10, 2017 09:26 AM

Historically, urban areas are graduating children from high school and college at a greater rate than its rural counterparts. But what does the latest data reveal?

Recent findings from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) suggests that more people are graduating high school and college in both rural and urban areas, but that a gap still exists.

ERS data shows that between 2000 and 2015, urban adults moved from 26% to 33% who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. In rural areas, this amount moved from 15% to 19% during the same time period.

“This gap may be due to the higher pay offered in urban areas to workers with college degrees,” ERS notes.

The good news – the percent of adults who do not hold a high school diploma is decreasing at a faster rate in rural areas. This number decreased form 24% in 2000 to 15% in 2015. Compare that to urban areas, where the dropout rate moved from 19% to 13% in the same time period.


ERS chart

This information originally appeared in the April 2017 ERS Report “Rural Education at a Glance.”

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