Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
According to new data from the Economic Research Service, young people in Pennsylvania are more likely to graduate from high school, get their GED, and graduate from college than ever before. In 2000, around 18 percent of people over the age of 25 had not completed high school or their GED. 20 years later, that number has fallen to only 9.5 percent, meaning that in two decades Pennsylvania managed to halve the number of people without a high school diploma or GED. This year is also the first time that Pennsylvania has had over 90 percent of its residents graduate from high school. The Commonwealth is doing slightly better than the United States, which has an overall 88 percent graduation rate, up from 80 percent in 2000.
Allegheny County is doing better than average in high school graduation, with nearly 95 percent of residents having completed high school or their GED. It is also ahead in college education, with nearly 42 percent of residents holding a college degree, compared to 31 percent of Pennsylvanians and 32 percent of U.S. residents generally.
Pennsylvania is slightly behind on college graduation, with 31.4 percent of residents holding a college degree. The average in the U.S. is 32.1 percent, but even so, the state has made enormous progress in the last 20 years.