Why this is important
Higher levels of educational attainment lead to economic and social benefits for both individuals and society. People who hold a college degree benefit with financial rewards such as lower unemployment and higher earnings than those who do not hold a college degree. College graduates are likely to earn about $1 million more than high school graduates during their working lives.
Society-wide benefits include greater workplace productivity and higher tax revenues. Communities with higher levels of educational attainment are correlated with more civic involvement, including voter participation rates, and lower crime rates.
What the data show
Educational Attainment of Adults 25 and older in Dakota County
Since 1990, more and more Dakota County residents of 25 years of age and older have earned Bachelor’s and advanced degrees, increasing from 27% in 1990 to 39% in 2010. During the same period, the percent of adults whose formal education ended with high school declined from 30% to 23%.
The percent of Dakota County adults who have a bachelor’s or higher degree is ranked fourth (39%) of the seven Twin Cities metropolitan-area counties, but above the state (31%) and national (28%) figures. Anoka County is at 27% of the population having completed a college or higher degree.
The segment of students who do not earn a high school diploma in Dakota County has declined to 5% from 9% in 1990. There is a direct correlation between educational attainment and the likelihood of a person needing government-funded economic assistance.