Erie Vital Signs

Brain Gain: Educational Attainment

This trend is better or improving

Education is a barometer of a region’s economic viability and the prospects of the people who live there. The education levels attained by Erie County residents offer encouraging results when compared with attainment levels found in 13 benchmark regions. The good news is that the education levels of Erie County residents aged 18 to 24 compare more favorably than those of older residents, suggesting the population is becoming more educated.

18 to 24 Years Olds

The general trend among this group of younger residents is one of improvement. Though the latest 2013 data show a slight year-over-year increase of 10.3 percent in 2012 to 10.9 percent in 2013, Erie County continues to have a low rate of residents who have less than a high school diploma. Additionally, the rate of 18-to-24-year-old residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher has continued to rank above the average found among the benchmark regions.

25 Years and Older

Among the benchmark regions, Erie County has the highest rate of residents 25-years-old or older who have graduated high school as well as one of the lowest rates of residents who have less than a 9th grade level of education. But Erie County’s percentages of residents in this age group who have some college or have earned an associate’s or graduate degree fall below the averages among benchmark region. The percentage of residents in this age group who have earned a bachelor’s degree, however, has steadily risen in recent years and is now about the same as the benchmark average.

Median Earnings

The latest 2013 data show a strong link between what people earn and their level of education. For example, the median earnings of an Erie County resident without a high school diploma are $15,561. That’s $23,697 less that the median earnings of someone with a bachelor’s degree


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