Who are the Degree Holders? More Local Maps You Don’t Need to Refold

DebSF -- January 25th, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a study today that explores seven decades of  data on college completion from the census bureau.  The interactive mapping tool on the site allows the reader to drill down to the county and city level, and to watch the changes in educational achievement in the selected locality from 1940-2009.  The bluer the area, the larger the proportion of holders of college degrees.
Here’s the US
:

According to the accompanying article,  the share of Americans who hold a college degree has risen from less than 5% in 1940 to nearly 28% today.  The data show that race and ethnicity are associated with an widespread educational gap, and some  racial and ethnic disparities clearly exist across the board.  Different localities tell different stories, however; according to the article, the first wave of Hispanic immigrants into Miami/Dade County  from Cuba  began in earnest during the 1960s after Fidel Castro came to power, and were generally from a highly educated entrepreneurial class.   Subsequent waves of immigration from different parts of the world have displayed different educational and socioeconomic characteristics.

Here’s Harrisonburg (click to enlarge).  It’s worth noting the racial/ethnic breakdown of the overall  population and to compare that with the percentage of each group that holds college degrees.

And here’s Rockingham County:

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