Education
Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18


Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The number of residents with a particular level of education, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older.

Why is this important?

An educated population makes a more attractive workforce and is better prepared to instruct the next generation of residents. High educational attainment represents a region's investment in human capital and preparation for long-term growth, as well as access to educational opportunities.

How is our region doing?

In 2014-18, 24% of adults in Berks had at least a bachelor's degree, up from 18% in 2000. That was substantially lower than the national rate of 32% and also below Pennsylvania's rate of 31%. Only 14% of adults in the region lacked a high school diploma, while 37% were high school graduates and 25% had attended some college. These proportions were fairly similar to the state. The nation had higher percentages of people who attended some college (29%) and had lower percentages of high school graduates (27%) or lacked diplomas (12%).

The south region of Berks had the highest share of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher (36%) while the central region had the lowest (12%).Northeast, south and southeast Berks all had 8-9% of adults in the region that lacked a high school diploma.

Among neighboring counties in 2014-18, Chester (52%) and Montgomery (49%) were highest with adults with at least a bachelor's degree. Lebanon and Schuylkill lead the counties with high school graduates with 44% and 47%, respectively. All counties ranged between 20-26% of adults that attended some college.

Notes about the data

Adults are people 25 and older. The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval).

The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States32%27%12%29%
Pennsylvania31%35%10%24%
Berks County24%37%14%25%
Berks County Regions
Central12%38%26%24%
Northeast26%40%9%25%
South36%31%8%25%
Southeast27%40%8%25%
West21%42%13%24%
Reading city10%36%32%22%
Berks County Peers
Chester County52%21%7%20%
Lancaster County27%36%15%22%
Lebanon County20%44%13%23%
Lehigh County29%33%11%26%
Montgomery County49%24%6%22%
Schuylkill County16%47%11%26%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States68,867,05159,265,30826,948,05763,365,655
Pennsylvania2,745,3173,133,655874,0182,168,373
Berks County68,971104,88938,10569,700
Berks County Regions
Central8,96327,20418,82817,376
Northeast11,28417,4334,03110,924
South28,25624,7935,93320,106
Southeast10,71115,9223,2589,960
West9,76619,6746,09711,361
Reading city4,85817,97816,22511,161
Berks County Peers
Chester County181,58775,08023,65470,157
Lancaster County97,090129,23554,65879,895
Lebanon County19,33541,98812,31621,426
Lehigh County72,59881,24928,21364,706
Montgomery County280,456137,29233,289124,775
Schuylkill County17,00948,89611,96827,036

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Education Levels of Adults, 2000
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States24%29%20%27%
Pennsylvania22%38%18%21%
Berks County18%39%22%20%
Berks County Regions
Central11%39%32%18%
Northeast20%41%20%19%
South28%34%15%23%
Southeast17%44%18%21%
West15%43%23%19%
Reading city9%37%38%16%
Berks County Peers
Chester County42%26%11%21%
Lancaster County21%39%23%18%
Lebanon County15%47%21%17%
Lehigh County23%35%19%23%
Montgomery County39%27%11%22%
Schuylkill County11%48%23%18%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Education Levels of Adults, 2000
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States44,462,60552,168,98135,715,62549,864,428
Pennsylvania1,847,6313,150,0131,496,1051,772,535
Berks County46,01197,97954,65150,223
Berks County Regions
Central7,31726,48021,67212,179
Northeast7,71015,4897,5187,345
South18,12022,6659,73515,349
Southeast5,55014,2545,7176,844
West6,38218,0029,6777,842
Reading city4,10317,73017,9027,795
Berks County Peers
Chester County121,35274,17930,57659,709
Lancaster County62,039117,50168,48254,481
Lebanon County12,62238,24417,54213,600
Lehigh County49,61274,38640,10448,563
Montgomery County199,787140,83959,307115,938
Schuylkill County11,58952,15024,66719,604

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing