San Jose, CA—If current trends continue, the percentage of New Mexico's workers with a college degree will decrease and the personal income of state residents will decline over the next 15 years, according to a report released today by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
The report finds that if New Mexico does not improve the education of Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans, the percentage of the state workforce with less than a high school diploma is projected to increase, while the percentage with an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree is expected to decline.
A drop in the average educational level of the state workforce would lower personal income per capita in the state and decrease the state's tax base. If current trends continue, personal income per capita in New Mexico is projected to decline from $17,281 in 2000 to $17,123 in 2020—a drop of $158 or 1% in real terms. In contrast, the state's personal income per capita grew 27% over the past two decades.
New Mexico is one of many states severely affected by these nationwide trends. Other states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas.
"Education is one of the most effective ways for individuals, communities, states, and the country to improve our social and economic future," said Patrick M. Callan, president of the National Center. "Given the changing global marketplace, the high school diploma is no longer enough for people seeking good jobs, or for communities, states, and the country to protect our standard of living. States must put into place the policies and resources needed to advance the education of all their residents."
These findings are based on a recent analysis by Patrick J. Kelly, senior associate at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).
The report is available on the National Center's Web site at www.highereducation.org. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Established in 1998, it receives continued core financial support from a consortium of national foundations that includes The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and The Ford Foundation.