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How Educated Are Most Americans? This Chart Can Tell You.

Published On 01/28/2017 Published On 01/28/2017

Going to college is one of those glittering American ideals that’s shoved down our throats from the moments we learn algebra. But a university level education is expensive, and not everyone can afford it without undertaking a massive amount of debt.

So what’s the average level of education for most Americans? The data-mavens at Overflow Data crunched the numbers, using the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2015 as a guide. The statisticians created a visualization, revealing the level of education attained by Americans according to age.

Going down the hierarchy of degrees, the study graphs the number of Americans who have completed degrees in higher education, all the way down to respondents who have never attended any kind of school. Unsurprisingly, the age group with the highest number of “advanced degrees” -- like Master’s, PhDs, and so forth -- are 68-year-olds, with a total of 473,622 falling under this category.

When it comes to younger people, pretty much all 17-year-olds have completed at least one grade in K-12, without achieving a diploma. Nearly 26% of 25-year-olds have bachelor’s degrees, but the frequency of those with a BA tapers off consistently as people get older.

Now that you've been briefed on education levels in America -- albeit in a simplistic form -- check out the average time most Americans get to work in the morning. 
 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.

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