October 3, 2023 3:21 am

Local News

Pennsylvanians are more educated than ever before

Credit: iStock

Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn 

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.

Northampton County is doing better than average in high school graduation, with nearly 91 percent of residents having completed high school or their GED. Lehigh County lags slightly behind at 89 percent for high school graduation, but both counties have lower college education rates than the Commonwealth, with around 30 percent of residents in both counties holding a college degree. The average in Pennsylvania is over 31 percent.

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.