Washington: Number One In College Degrees

FINDINGS

This study of Census 2000 data shows that the Washington metropolitan area has a very highly educated population. The following is a summary of the major findings:

  • No major metropolitan area is better educated than the Washington area. Compared to the 20 largest metropolitan areas, Washington ranks first in educational attainment—42 percent of the adult population has at least a bachelor's degree and 19 percent has a master's, professional, or Ph.D. degree.

  • The inner suburbs lead the way. Within the region, the inner suburbs have the highest proportion of residents with at least a bachelor's degree or a master's, professional, or Ph.D. degree (48 and 22 percent respectively). The District is not far behind, as 39 percent have a bachelor's degree and 21 percent a master's, professional, or Ph.D. degree.

  • Educational attainment rates differ greatly by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic whites and Asians are the most highly educated. However, compared to other metropolitan areas, blacks and Hispanics in the Washington region are highly educated.

  • High school completion rates are uneven within the region. The inner suburbs have the highest rate, at 89 percent, followed by the outer suburbs and then the District. Forty-two percent of Hispanics lack a high school degree, compared to 19 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Asians, and 7 percent of whites.