The share of adults in the Western U.S. with an associate degree or higher increased by five percentage points from 39% to 44% between 2009 and 2019, and the number of adults with a degree increased from 15 million to 18.4 million. Additionally, the number of adults with a high school diploma or lower level of education increased slightly (170,000) and the number of adults with some college, but no degree, decreased by 215,000.
Notes: Number of adults ages 25-64 with an associate degree or higher credential, as a percentage of total adults ages 25-64. Data not available for the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Table B15001, 2009-2019.
Senior Research Analyst, Policy Analysis and Research
Colleen Falkenstern serves as a research analyst in WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research unit. In her role, she supports the development of WICHE’s annual data resources—Regional Fact Book for Higher Education in the West, Benchmarks (of access and success), and Tuition and Fees in Public Higher Education in the West. She also provides analytical support for WICHE’s quadrennial projections of high school graduates, Knocking at the College Door. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of South Carolina—Columbia and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Denver.