Given the current gaps in educational levels
in the United States (Projection 1), projected
changes in the population by race/ethnicity
from 2000 to 2020 are likely to lead to
a substantial increase in the percentage
of the workforce with less than a high school
diploma, and declines at each educational level
from the high school diploma to a graduate
degree (see figure 7).
Under Projection 1, nearly all states would
experience an increase in the share of their
workforce lacking a high school diploma. Those
projected to have the highest growth in minority
populations would experience the largest
increases, with Nevada, California, Arizona,
Texas, Colorado, and Illinois topping the list.
These disparities would also lead to
decreases in each state in the college-educated
portion of the workforce. New Mexico would
lose the most ground in this area, followed
by California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado,
and Texas. Many eastern and midwestern states
would be close behind, including Connecticut,
Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts,
In contrast to Projection 1, IF states are
able to close the gaps between the levels
of educational success for whites and other
racial/ethnic populations, then increases would
likely result for the working-age population
at each level of education beyond high school.
For example, IF states are able to close
the educational gaps to reach parity within
the state (Projection 2), then the percentage
of working-age Americans attaining a bachelorís
degree (as their highest degree) is projected
to increase from 17% in 2000 to 20% in 2020.
IF states are able to close the educational gaps
to reach equity across the United States
(Projection 3), then the percentage earning
a bachelorís degree is projected to jump
to 24% in 2020.