The number of residents with a particular level of education, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older.
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.
In 2013-17, 39% of adults in Essex County had at least a bachelor's degree, up from 31% in 2000. That was higher than the national rate of 31% and slightly below Massachusetts' rate of 42%. Only 11% of Essex County adults lacked a high school diploma, while 25% were high school graduates and 25% had attended some college. These proportions were very similar to the state. The nation had a slightly higher percentage of people who attended some college (29%).
Within the County, the cities of Lawrence and Lynn had much lower levels of education, with 11% and 20%, respectively, of adults having earned at least a bachelor's. About a third in Lawrence lacked a high school diploma, compared to 21% in Lynn. Communities with the highest shares of residents with at least a bachelor's degree included Andover (74%) and Marblehead (70%).
Essex County's 2013-17 rate of adults with bachelor's or higher degrees was lower than the comparison counties: 54% in Middlesex, MA, 48% in Westchester, NY, and 44% in Lake, IL.
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.