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College Graduate Statistics For 2024 (Data & Facts) Guide

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It’s never been more important to understand the latest college graduate statistics of 2024 — and with good reason. For many people, a college degree is an essential requirement for landing a job in their desired field and setting themselves up for success.

To help you out, we’ve gathered valuable data on current trends in the market to compile this comprehensive resource of all the need-to-know facts about today’s graduates.

From which industries are most popular to average recent grad salaries, this post will provide you with everything you need to know as it relates to college graduate statistics as we head into 2024.

General Stats: US College Graduates and Graduation Rates

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The United States has long prided itself on its higher education system and its commitment to providing educational opportunities for all citizens. In recent years, college graduation rates have been steadily increasing and more students are obtaining degrees than ever before. However, the statistics surrounding college graduates in the US tells a complex story.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of people aged 25-29 with a bachelor’s degree or higher rose from 29% in 2000 to 37% in 2017. This is mostly due to an increase in postsecondary enrollment among young adults, which rose from 32% in 2000 to 41% in 2017.

The largest gains were seen among Black and Hispanic students, who saw a 12 percentage point increase over this time period compared to 8 percentage points for White students.

When broken down by gender, men still hold a slight advantage over women when it comes to obtaining tertiary qualifications with 40% of men aged 25-29 having earned at least their bachelor’s degree compared to 35% of women holding the same qualifications.

Additionally, when looking at data from the 2019 US Census Bureau we see that overall higher education attainment rates are greater among White, Asian, and Native American populations than Black and Hispanic populations.

Nevertheless, significant progress has been made when it comes to college graduation rates in America as evidenced by both NCES and Census Bureau data showing that postsecondary enrollment has gone up across all groups of Americans since 2000.

This can be attributed largely due to a combination of improved access to financial aid programs such as Pell Grants and federal student loan programs as well as more widespread promotion of higher education opportunities through initiatives such as GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs).

Alongside increased access, certain schools have also responded with reforms designed not only to ensure retention but also success once enrolled in college courses.

Several universities across the country have adopted “learning communities” that pair incoming freshmen with upperclassmen mentors who provide guidance throughout their first year in order to help them adjust socially as well as academically while transitioning into college life.

Other institutions have implemented freshmen seminars aimed at giving first-year students an introduction to proper study habits and methods for coping with stress-related challenges such as time management skills or test anxiety so they can become better prepared for coursework ahead of them.

Despite these reforms, there is still much room for improvement when it comes to ensuring every student has equal access and support throughout their collegiate journey regardless if they are attending public or private universities or community colleges.

It is essential that efforts are made so that everyone is able to take full advantage of this invaluable opportunity offered by higher education so that future generations can benefit from increased job prospects as well improved economic stability upon graduation from institutions of higher learning across the country.

College Graduates by Demographics

Every year, millions of college students graduate, becoming the first in their families to achieve higher education and taking on new opportunities. College graduates come from all walks of life and bring a multitude of demographics from different backgrounds and experiences.

The most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that in 2018, an estimated 3 million bachelor’s degrees were awarded to 1.9 million individuals. The largest demographic was women, who earned 57% of all bachelor’s degrees in the United States.

This number is increasing every year, with women now earning more than 60% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2020. Similarly, racial minorities continue to make up a larger portion of college graduates each year: In 2018, over 20% of college graduates were non-white – double the amount just two decades ago.

Further breaking down college graduates by demographics shows that Asian Americans have had the highest representation among graduating classes since 2000 – maintaining a steady presence of approximately 15-17%.

African American students have also made significant gains within higher education over this period; they accounted for 13% of college graduates in 2018 compared to 8% in 2000.

Hispanic or Latino Americans made up 12% of graduates in 2018 while White Americans comprised 52%, a decrease from 75% representation just twenty years ago.

In addition to race and gender differences among college graduates, there are also differences based on geographic location and educational attainment level that can be seen across the United States population.

Areas where young adults often attend college for advanced study are located mainly in urban areas with larger populations such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston and Miami; these locations accounted for 27 percent of all bachelor’s degree recipients in 2018 according to the U.S Census Bureau report on educational attainment released earlier this year (2019).

Furthermore, when broken down by educational attainment levels alone it is clear that not all regions offer equal access to high-quality schooling: For instance, 32 states currently report having higher percentages of associate’s degree holders than bachelor’s degree holders within their respective boundaries — highlighting disparities across America’s educational landscape which must be addressed if true equality across different demographics is ever going to be achieved.

Intersecting demographic categories such as gender and racial background further complicates the situation when evaluating current trends in higher education attainment within different communities throughout the country.

For example, recent studies have shown that Black women earn a disproportionally low share of both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees relative to their peers despite having higher rates of enrollment than either men or white women at both levels.

This indicates that certain groups still face significant obstacles when attempting to pursue higher learning even today due largely systemic issues such as income inequality or unequal access to resources like quality schools or healthcare, etc.

All these data points indicate that there is still much progress needed before true equality can be achieved among those seeking higher education regardless of race or gender identity.

Thanks to advances that have already been made during just the past two decades it is clear that improvement is possible if we remain committed together as a society towards creating equitable access for everyone regardless of their background when pursuing academic excellence at any level.

College Graduates by State

The number of college graduates in the United States has been steadily increasing, and it’s no surprise as to why. Higher education provides individuals with more job opportunities, higher wages, and better career prospects.

But where are most college graduates located? Let’s take a look at the top states by college graduate population and what their credentials say about their educational success.

California is home to the largest number of college graduates in the country. There are almost 5 million college grads living in California, making up 14% of all U.S. postsecondary degree holders.

The Golden State is also home to some of the best universities in the world, including Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and Santa Clara University. As a result, it comes as no surprise that many highly educated individuals call California their home.

Texas ranks second in terms of college graduates with nearly 4 million calling the Lone Star State their post-college residence. About 11% of all U.S.-educated adults live in Texas, which speaks to the state’s commitment to higher education initiatives including major scholarship programs for recent high school graduates and generous student loan assistance programs for those attending colleges and universities within its borders.

Some of Texas’s top-rated institutes include Rice University and Texas A&M University – both among the nation’s elite universities for postsecondary degrees in various fields such as science, engineering, business, and law.

Florida follows closely behind Texas when it comes to college graduate populations; there are around 3 million adult degree holders residing here who make up just over 9% of all US-educated adults across America today.

With almost 50 public universities throughout the state offering students a variety of majors from art history to zoology or oceanography – many students take advantage of Florida’s strong economy and head towards its sunny beaches after graduation day!

Notable institutions like Florida State University (FSU) or The University of Miami are staples for those seeking higher education within this southern paradise state.

New York rounds out our top four states with an impressive tally – over 2 million adult degree holders reside here making up 6% of all US-educated adults present nationwide today!

It should be noted that New York City itself houses 1/3rd of all residents possessing at least one post-secondary credential; due to its robust industry base that includes finance, healthcare, technology, and more – plenty flock here after they receive their degrees looking for employment opportunities straight outta school!

World-renowned institutions such as Columbia University or New York University attract scholars from around the globe while smaller schools like Long Island University or Stony Brook offer local applicants excellent academic options too!

Overall these four states make up close to 40%of all U.S.-educated adults across America today – showing us just how important access to quality higher education can be for any region or population that wishes to thrive economically!

Furthermore, these figures suggest that if a person desires a brighter future with better job prospects then pursuing postsecondary studies may very well be worth their while – no matter which corner on this great nation they hail from!

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Conclusion: College Graduate Statistics For 2024 (Data & Facts) Guide

All in all, the data collected show that there is a continuous upward trend in the number of college graduates. However, this does not mean that scholarships and financial aid are no longer available or necessary.

College remains a significant investment, but one that pays off in the long run. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median weekly earnings for college graduates were $1,173 in 2019 compared to $712 for individuals with only a high school diploma.

With rising tuition costs, it’s more important than ever to research your options and find ways to finance your education. But don’t let sticker shock discourage you from pursuing your degree – remember that the investment will pay off in the end.


A graduate of the IIMC, Diksha enjoys writing about marketing, Saas products, and making money online. Her goal is to help others make more informed purchases of tech products and services. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, and listening to music. An ardent reader loves to be surrounded by technology. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram

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