College grads see big income boost
Adults with a bachelor's degree average over $20,000 a year more than those with only a high school diploma, according to new Census data.
By Rob Kelley, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Four more years in the classroom should be looking pretty good to high school graduates if future salary is important to them, according to new Census data released Thursday.

The survey found that adults 18 and older with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $51,554 in 2004, compared to $28,645 for those with only a high school diploma.

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Those with advanced degrees did even better, taking home an average of $78,093 a year.

Men had lower high school graduation rates than women - 84.9 percent compared to 85.4 percent. But a greater proportion of men held bachelor's degrees: 28.9 percent versus 26.5 percent of women.

The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of people with a bachelor's degree at 47 percent, followed by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey.

The states with the highest proportions of high school diplomas were Utah, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska (all around 92 percent).

Whites had the highest proportion of high school degrees (90 percent), followed by Asians (88 percent), blacks (81 percent), and Hispanics (59 percent).

The data are from the 2005 Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), which was conducted from February through April 2005 at about 100,000 addresses.

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