2012 Adult Education Levels

Jeff Cornett
Director of Institutional Research
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
Over the last century, education levels have risen dramatically. However, to remain competitive in the global economy, the "Big Goal" for our nation is to double the number of college-educated adults to 60% by the year 2025. This is an enormous challenge for our Central Indiana region which is currently only about 38% college-educated. Some suburban locations in our region are already at the 60% goal (including Hamilton County averaging 64% as a whole). Even within Hamilton County, adult education levels vary by neighborhood with more rural areas tending to be less well educated. Hamilton County is also the most affluent county in our region. Well educated adults tend to earn higher incomes and can afford to buy homes in these neighborhoods. Patterns around the state vary widely by county, again following a pattern where more rural counties and less affluent areas have lower overall education levels. If the Big Goal for 2025 is to be accomplished, the entire state of Indiana as well as the nation as a whole will need to average nearly the educational level of Hamilton County.
Note: These two maps were developed to show the variability of adult educational levels across geographic areas. It is evident that not all areas have an equal likelihood of achieving the 60% adult college-educated target. The goal is still worth pursuing as a nation, but some areas will need to significantly exceed the target in order to offset other areas with a lower starting point.



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