What does this measure?
The number of residents with a particular level of education, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older in a region.
Why is this important?
An educated population makes a more attractive workforce and is better prepared to instruct the next generation of residents. High educational attainment represents a region's investment in human capital and preparation for long-term growth.
How is our region performing?
In 2010-14, 32% of the region's adults had graduated from high school but had not pursued any post-secondary education, and 14% had not completed high school. However, 26% of the region's working age population had at least a four-year college degree.
The region was more educated than the state as a whole: the share of adults without a high school diploma or GED was 1 percentage point higher in the state than the region, and the share of adults with a bachelor's or higher was 2 points lower in the state than in the region. Compared to the nation, the region had a slightly lower proportions of people with at least some college experience or a college degree.
Among counties in the region in 2010-14, Knox County had the highest percentage of adults with at least a four-year degree (35%) and Union County had by far the lowest (9%). Union had the highest proportion of residents with less than a high school diploma (26%), followed by Monroe (22%).
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.