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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

March 10, 2004

High proportion of New Yorkers hold advanced degree

New York boasts the sixth-highest level of graduate and professional degrees in the nation, with 12.6 percent of its population aged 25 and older holding graduate or professional degrees, according to a new survey analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nationwide, 9.4 percent of the population 25 and older has a graduate or professional degree, the Census data showed.

The bureau examined the number of master's, law, medical, and doctorate degrees attained by the 25-and-over population in each state. The bureau's data excluded individuals living in institutions, college dormitories and other group settings.

The survey found that 23.5 percent of Westchester residents and more than 25 percent of Manhattan residents, ages 25 and older, hold advanced degrees.

The education level of the nation’s workforce plays a critical role in growing and developing a healthy economy, according to Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon. “The higher the level of educational attainment, the more one can expect to earn over the course of their working life.”

The new analysis also found that Washington, D.C.’s population has the highest level of graduate degrees in the nation, with 23.6 percent holding graduate and professional degrees.

Massachusetts ranked second, with 14.5 percent of its population claiming advanced degrees. Maryland (14.1 percent), Connecticut (13.7), Virginia (12.9), New York (12.6), Vermont (12.3), Colorado (11.5), New Jersey (11.5), and New Mexico (11) rounded out the top 10.

The survey also measured the incidence of graduate or advanced degrees in thirteen other New York counties including Rockland (16.9), Nassau (16.6), Albany (16.6), Monroe (14), Dutchess (13.3), Onondaga (12.8), Suffolk (12.2 percent), Richmond (10.8), Erie (10), Queens (9.6), Orange (9.0), Kings (8.9), and the Bronx (6.2).

In addition, the survey found that the City of Buffalo's population lagged behind the rest of the nation with only 6.6 percent of the 25-and-over population claiming an advanced degree.

For the complete report, visit www.census.gov/pubinfo/www/news.html.