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Administration on Aging (AoA)

A Profile of Older Americans: 2012


The educational level of the older population is increasing. Between 1970 and 2012, the percentage of older persons who had completed high school rose from 28% to 81%. About 24% in 2012 had a bachelor's degree or higher. The percentage who had completed high school varied considerably by race and ethnic origin in 2012: 86% of Whites (not Hispanic), 74% of Asians, 69% of African-Americans, 69% of American Indian/Alaska Natives, and 49.0% of Hispanics. The increase in educational levels is also evident within these groups. In 1970, only 30% of older Whites and 9% of older African-Americans were high school graduates.

(Based on online data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement.)

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Last Modified: 8/25/2014