The percentage of the United States population that has completed high school and college has increased over the past generation.
As late as 1970, only 55 percent of the population age 25 years and older had completed four or more years of high school.
That total has jumped from 55 percent to nearly 90 percent in a recent survey.
Meanwhile, the percentage of 25-year-olds who have completed four years of college has increased from 11 percent to 34 percent.
These are findings of the National Center for Education Statistics.
Many people find it surprising to learn that, at any given time, nearly one-third of Americans are involved with our education system.
Think about that.
The United States has a population of almost 320 million people.
Of those residents, more than 77 million students are enrolled in American schools and colleges.
Many residents also work in the education system. Almost seven million Americans are employed as elementary and secondary school teachers and as college faculty.
Another five million work as professional, administrative, or support staff of educational institutions.
Clearly, education is a central portion of who we are as Americans, and nearly a third of us cherish it enough to participate in it or work for it. It’s an impressive statistic.