Council on Postsecondary Education
REPORT SHOWS LINK BETWEEN EDUCATION AND PROSPERITY IN KENTUCKY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOTE TO EDITORS: County information is available at http://www.cpe.ky.gov/info/county.
The Council on Postsecondary Education released Kentucky’s 2008-10 County Profiles today, which shows that counties with high numbers of college graduates also have high household median incomes. Of the top 20 counties in the number of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 65 percent (13) of those counties also rank in the top 20 counties with the highest median household income.
“This report confirms the direct connection between education and quality of life,” said Brad Cowgill, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
The 2008-10 County Profiles report, a biennial publication of the Council, compiles data from national, state and other resources to provide education-related profiles of 120 counties, 15 area development districts and eight public postsecondary institution service regions. The report also contains charts and maps that highlight some of the Commonwealth’s more critical issues such as poverty, unemployment and Medicaid.
Profiles include information regarding:
• Educational attainment (including the percent of the population with/without a high school diploma and with/without a college degree).
• College readiness and participation (including the number of students entering or graduating college in 2006-07).
• Employment by sector
• Undergraduate enrollment (including alumni residing in the county/region and fall 2006 enrollment by postsecondary institution)
• Financial aid (including number of awards and total state and federal aid dollars awarded)
The report found that only five of Kentucky’s 120 counties are at or above the national average in the percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. These counties include Fayette (35.6%), Oldham (30.6%), Woodford (25.9%), Jefferson (24.8%) and Warren (24.7%). The national average is 24.4 percent and the overall Kentucky average is 17.1 percent.
Other key findings of the report show:
• Four counties need less than 500 additional bachelor’s degree holders to meet the national average: Calloway (75), Franklin (180), Robertson (246) and Rowan (311).
• Nine counties are above the national average of $41,994 in median household income including: Oldham ($63,229), Boone ($53,593), Woodford ($49,491), Scott ($47,081), Spencer ($47,042), Shelby ($45,534), Anderson ($45,433), Bullitt ($45,106) and Kenton ($43,906) Counties.
• In 23 counties, 60 percent or more of high school graduates enrolled in a Kentucky college in 2006; the highest college-going rate occurred in Robertson County, where 69 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college. In eight counties, less than 40 percent entered college in 2006.
• In 16 counties, 30 percent or more of the population is living in poverty. Statewide, 15.8 percent of Kentuckians live in poverty, topping the national average of 12.4 percent.
To view the full report, visit the Council’s Web site at http://www.cpe.ky.gov/info/county.
Kentucky is in the middle of the most dramatic economic and social transformation in its history. Double the Numbers: Kentucky’s Plan to Increase College Graduates explains that increasing bachelor’s degrees is the quickest, most direct way for Kentucky to increase its economic prosperity. College graduates earn more, are healthier, create a more robust economy, and enjoy a higher quality of life. The Double the Numbers plan outlines five statewide strategies for Kentucky to achieve this ambitious, but achievable goal. While this effort will not be easy, the benefits of Doubling the Numbers will be felt by all Kentuckians.