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March 16, 2023

50 percent of Missourians earned a credential or diploma beyond high school

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development is making progress in its goal of 60 percent of Missourians gaining an education beyond high school by 2030, based on the latest information from the Lumina Foundation. The goal is for 60 percent of Missourians between the ages of 25 and 64 to have a degree or high-quality credential above the high school graduate level by 2030.

The level of education for Missourians, or educational attainment, rose 3.5 percentage points to 50.5 percent from 2019 to 2021, according to the Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation report. That means that more than 50 percent of Missourians between the ages of 25-64 have gotten a degree or credential.

“Research shows educational attainment levels typically correspond to higher wages and lower unemployment,” said Leroy Wade, interim commissioner of higher education. “Access to opportunities for certificates, credentials, apprenticeships, and degrees supports a strong and growing Missouri economy. While we have a lot of work to do to reach 60 percent educational attainment by 2030, this new information is encouraging.”

The department’s strategic plan also recognizes the need for every Missourian to be represented in order to reach this goal, focusing on the Black, Hispanic, and rural equity populations.

Educational attainment data for these groups is not available as part of the Lumina report and is only available at the associate degree level and above. To ensure a focus on progress by these groups, the department develops an estimate of each group’s progress.

Educational attainment for associate degree and above for the Hispanic population increased by 6.1 percentage points from 2019, reaching 35 percent in 2021. Educational attainment for the Black working-age population was 31.9 percent, an increase of 3.5 percentage points.

Educational attainment for the rural population reached 30.8 percent, up 2.1 percentage points from 2019. Total Missouri educational attainment at the associate level and above was 43 percent, up from 41 percent in 2019.

For more information about MDHEWD’s strategic plan, visit dhewd.mo.gov/strategicplan.php.

For more information on the Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation report, visit luminafoundation.org/our-work/stronger-nation/.