What's Your Question

Q. What is the overall education level of the population in the United States?

A. The educational attainment in the United States is as follows:

Subject Total
Population 25 years and over
Less than 9th grade 6.40%
9th to 12th grade, no diploma 9.10%
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 29.60%
Some college, no degree 20.10%
Associate’s degree 7.40%
Bachelor’s degree 17.30%
Graduate or professional degree 10.10%
Percent high school graduate or higher 84.50%
Percent bachelor’s degree or higher 27.40%

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2008 American Community Survey

 

Q. How does the level of education correlate with the poverty rate in the United States?

A. There is an indirect correlation between poverty and levels of education, as the chart reflects:

Poverty Rate for the Population 25 Years and Over for Whom Poverty Status is Determined by Educational Attainment Level
Less than high school graduate 23.60%
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 11.50%
Some college or associate’s degree 7.80%
Bachelor’s degree 4.10%
Graduate or professional degree 3.00%

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2008 American Community Survey

 

Q. How does income vary with level of education?

A. There is a direct correlation between income and level of education.

 

Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months

(in 2009 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars)

Subject Total
Less than high school graduate 19,989
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 27,448
Some college or associate’s degree 33,838
Bachelor’s degree 47,853
Graduate or professional degree 63,174

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2008 American Community Survey

 

Q. How does the U.S. Census Bureau determine poverty levels?

A. The Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid and food stamps).
ask.census.gov

 

Q. What do the data related to taxation over time tell us regarding tax inequality?

A. From 1986 until 2006, the total income tax share for the top 1 percent of income earners has consistently risen, from 25.75 percent in 1986 to 39.89 percent in 2006.
www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2

 

Q. What is the average income tax rate?

A. According to the Internal Revenue Service’s latest statistics for 2006 individual tax returns, the average tax rate for all taxpayers was 12.60 percent. The average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent income group was 3.01 percent, and the average tax rate for the bottom 99 percent income group was 9.72 percent.
www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2
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