Home / Education / Articles / Three charts on education levels by race and ethnicity

USAFacts’ 2023 State of the Union in Numbers features a detailed look at Americans’ highest levels of education. Included is this chart which uses Census Bureau and National Center of Education Statistics data to visualize educational attainment through the lens of race.

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The chart on student educational attainment has three sections separated by race and ethnicity: The percentage who graduated high school in 2014, the percentage who enrolled in college that same year, and the percentage of that same cohort who graduated from two-year or four-year college programs.

Eighty-two percent of the 2010 freshman class graduated high school in 2014. Of the graduates, 56% enrolled in a college program and 29% went on to graduate college.

Key takeaway: Asian/Pacific Islander students had the largest high school graduation rates of any race/ethnicity in 2014, 89% followed by white students. Black students had the lowest graduation rates, with less than three-quarters of students starting high school in 2010 and graduating by 2014.

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The middle of the chart covers the students who enrolled in a two-year or four-year college the following fall semester. In 2014, more than half of recent high school graduates enrolled in a four-year or two-year college program that fall.

Key takeaway: Asian and Pacific Islander students were the most likely group to graduate high school, enroll in college and graduate four-year from a college within six years.

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What percentage of 2010 high school freshmen graduated in 2014 and subsequently graduated from a two- or four-year college? The chart below answers this question. It also highlights the percentage of college enrollees who graduated from four-year colleges within six years or graduated from two-year college within three years.

Key takeaway: Of the students enrolled in four-year colleges in 2014, 14% of Black students and 13% of Hispanic students graduated by 2020. The graduation rates of Asian/Pacific Islander students for two-year college and four-year college are higher than the averages of all students.

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The State of the Union in Numbers has more explorations of educational outcomes. Dive into the data, then see USAFacts’ metrics on proficiency scores and per-student spending. Get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

CPS School Enrollment Supplement
Graduation rate 2-year post-secondary public institution
Graduation rate 4-year post-secondary public institution
Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate