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Education Gap and Income GDP

Education Gap and Income GDP

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Published by William V. Flores

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Published by: William V. Flores on Nov 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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If current trends continue,the proportion of workers with highschool diplomas and college degreeswill decrease and the personal incomeof Americans will decline over the next15 years.Substantial increases in thosesegments of America’s youngpopulation with the lowest levelof education, combined withthe coming retirement of the baby boomers—the most highly educated generation in U.S. history—are projected to lead to a drop in the average level of educationof the U.S. workforce over the next two decades, unless states doa better job of raising the educational level of all racial/ethnic groups.The projected decline in educational levels coincides withthe growth of a knowledge-based economy that requires most workersto have higher levels of education. At the same time, the expansionof a global economy allows industry increased flexibility in hiringworkers overseas. As other developed nations continue to improvethe education of their workforces, the United States and its workerswill increasingly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.In addition, a drop in the average level of education of U.S. workerswould depress personal income levels for Americans, in turn creatinga corresponding decrease in the nation’s tax base.The projected declines in educational and income levels can bereversed, however, if states do a better job of increasing the educationof all their residents, particularly those populations that aregrowing fastest.
Fact #1:
The U.S. workforce is becoming more diverse.
Fact #2:
The racial/ethnic groupsthat are the least educatedare the fastest growing
current population trendscontinue and states do notimprove the education of allracial/ethnic groups, theskills of the workforce andthe incomes of U.S. residentsare projected to declineover the next two decades
**These projections are based onthe recent report,
 As America Becomes More Diverse: The Impact of State Higher Education Inequality,
by Patrick J. Kelly at the NationalCenter for Higher EducationManagement Systems (NCHEMS),with support from the LuminaFoundation. For the full report, seewww.higheredinfo.org/raceethnicity/.This national
Policy Alert 
and 10 statesupplements can be downloadedfrom the National Center’s Web siteat www.highereducation.org.
Policy Alert 
November 2005
“The projected declinesin educational andincome levels can bereversed, however,if states do a better  job of increasing the educationof all their residents...” 
FACT #1:
The U.S. Workforce Is Becoming More Diverse.
The U.S. workforce (generally ages25 to 64) is in the midst of a sweepingdemographic transformation. From1980 to 2020, the white working-agepopulation is projected to declinefrom 82% to 63% (see figure 1).During the same period, the minorityportion of the workforce is projectedto double (from 18% to 37%),and the Hispanic/Latino portionis projected to almost triple(from 6% to 17%).This demographic shift can betraced to two primary causes: largernumbers of younger Americans(ages 0 to 44) are ethnic minorities,and increasing numbers of whiteworkers are reaching retirement age.Over the next 15 years, the largestincrease in the younger U.S.population is projected to beHispanic/Latino (see figure 2).The younger population—includingthose most likely to be in school,college, or professional training—isgrowing ever more racially diverse.Meanwhile, the largest portionof the white population is aging.The number of whites is projectedto decline in all age groups youngerthan 45 (see figure 2). The only agelevel in which whites would outpaceminorities in population growth isamong those reaching retirement:ages 65 and older.Despite increasing levelsof ethnic diversity in nearly all states,90% of Hispanics/Latinos residein just 16 states (see figure 3),and 90% of African-Americans livein 21 states (see figure 4).
All Minorities
Native AmericansAsian-AmericansHispanics/LatinosAfrican-Americans
Actual Projecte
    I   n    M    i    l    l    i   o   n   s
65 andOlder45 to 6425 to 4418 to 240 to 17
Years of Age 
Figure 1. In the U.S., the white portion of the working-age population (ages 25 to 64) is declining, while the minority portion is increasing.
Notes: Population projections are based on historical rates of change for immigration, birth,and death. Pacific Islanders are included with Asian-Americans. Alaska Natives areincluded with Native Americans. Projections for Native Americans are based on 1990Census. The Census category “other races” is not included.Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 5% Public Use Microdata Samples (based on 1980, 1990,and 2000 Census) and U.S. Population Projections (based on 2000 Census).
Figure 2.The greatest portion of U.S. population growth from ages 0 to 44is projected to be among minorities.
Notes: Population projections are based on historical rates of change for immigration, birth,and death. Pacific Islanders are included with Asian-Americans. Projections based on 2000Census are not available for Native Americans.Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 5% Public Use Microdata Samples (based on 2000 Census).
Projected Change in U.S. Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2000 to 2020
Figure 3. Ninety percent of the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population live in these states.Figure 4. Ninety percent of the U.S. African-American population live in these states.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census; National Center for Education Statistics,Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Fall 2002 Enrollments.

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