DataPoints: Education, income and poverty


From 2019 to 2020, real median incomes among U.S. householders ages 25 and older dropped for all educational attainment groups, according to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, whose collected information coincided with the Covid pandemic. 

Individuals with less education (who also earned the least) were hit particularly hard. Those with no high school diploma saw their median incomes drop -5.7%, and individuals with a diploma but no college saw a -3.9% decline. Individuals with some college and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher both experienced a -2.8% decline.

In 2020, nearly one-quarter (24.7%) of people ages 25 and older without a high school diploma were in poverty — the highest poverty rate among the educational groups. Among people with at least a bachelor’s degree, 4% were in poverty. The poverty rate for those with a high school degree but did not attend college was 13.2% in 2020, up from 11.5% in 2019. For those with some college, 8.4% were in poverty in 2020, an increase from 7.8% in 2019.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.