IMPACT: The Impact on Educational Levels.

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, and Illinois.

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.


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