USDA: Education Gaps Exist Between Rural and Urban Communities
Formal educational attainment in rural America has grown, but still lags behind urban communities. USDA’s Economic Research Service data shows the share of adults ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased in rural areas from 15% to 21%. In the same time span, the share of adults in urban areas with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 26% to 36%, widening the rural-urban gap from 11% to 15% in these two reference periods. The rural-urban gap in the share of people with at least a bachelor’s degree is even larger for younger age groups.
In 2017–21, the share of working-age adults, ages 25–64, with at least a bachelor's degree, was 37% in urban areas and 21% in rural areas. The share of younger adults ages 25–44 with at least a bachelor’s degree was 40% in urban areas and 22% in rural areas.
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