Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
According to the Education Research Service, young people in Wisconsin are more likely to graduate from high school, get their GED, and graduate from college than ever before. In 2000, around 15 percent of people over the age of 25 had not completed high school or their GED. 20 years later, that number has fallen to only 8 percent, meaning that in two decades, Wisconsin has managed to cut the number of people without a high school diploma or GED in half. The state is doing better than the United States as a whole, which has an overall 88 percent graduation rate, up from 80 percent in 2000.
Milwaukee County is slightly behind the average for the state with 88 percent of residents having completed high school or the equivalent. However, the county is ahead in college education, with 31 percent of residents holding a college degree, compared to 30 percent of Wisconsin residents and 32 percent of U.S. residents generally.
Waukesha County is well ahead of state and national averages in both measures, with 96 percent of residents having a high school diploma or equivalent, and 44.5 percent holding a college degree.
Wisconsin has a strong education system, particularly at the high school level. The 92 percent high school graduation rate is four percent higher than the national average. However, college graduation rates are slightly lower than the average across the United States. As state officials work to improve education, it may be worth paying special attention to getting residents into – and through – college programs as well.