In the week since President Obama’s State of the Union address, there’s been lots of talk about educational disparities and which reforms will be necessary to make today’s kids competitive in a global economy. But what do those disparities look like today? The Chronicle of Higher Education created a interactive map that tries to give answers (h/t to Cliff Huang at Fast Company).

Here’s how the map works. There’s a color-coded scale showing what portion of each county has a college degree, drawn mostly from Census data. Of course, most counties are highly stratified by race. The bluer the county, the more college graduates. The national average of adults with a bachelor’s degrees is 27.5 percent.  Broken down by race, those numbers break down to 29 percent for whites, 17.2 percent for blacks, and about 12.6 percent for Latinos. What about the numbers for Asian grads? It shows them as having a 48.6 percent graduation rate. But that number’s not quite as easy to digest as you may think. The graphic falls into the familiar trap of lumping all Asian Americans together, despite huge disparities between ethnic groups. Moreover, it’s interesting to see that the rate of white college graduates doesn’t seem much affected by demographics. 

Love it? Hate it? Have more to add? Tell us what you think in the comments.


whites_education_020211.jpg


What’s interesting is to see the number of Latino college graduates in counties with mostly Latinos. The graduation rates are much lower in predominately Latino counties than in other counties.  

latinos_education2_020211.jpg


latinos_education1_020211.jpg


The same seems to hold true for black college graduates in counties that are predominately black. 

blacks_education2_020211.jpg
blacks_education1_020211.jpg


Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/02/race_and_education.html


Thank you for printing out this Colorlines.com article. If you liked this article, please make a donation today at colorlines.com/donate to support our ongoing news coverage, investigations and actions to promote solutions.