Education
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity

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Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20

What does this measure?

The number of residents with a particular level of education in a region, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older, broken down by race and ethnicity.

Why is this important?

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. There are persistent gaps in academic achievement among students of different races, ethnicities and incomes, and this is likely reflected in levels of educational attainment.

How is our region doing?

The share of adults in MetroWest in 2016-20 with a bachelor's degree or higher was highest among Asian residents (66%), followed by white (52%), African American (36%) and Hispanic residents (28%). While there were similar disparities at the state level, all racial and ethnic groups in MetroWest had higher education levels compared to both Massachusetts and the nation.

All groups in MetroWest increased their shares of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher since 2000, but the largest increase occurred among white residents (13 percentage points). Asian residents increased 9 points, while African American and Hispanic residents both increased by 7 points.

Why do these disparities exist?

Studies point to a variety of factors believed to contribute to disparities in educational attainment. School systems in the United States are highly segregated, and students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Schools also have different levels of resources ranging from qualified/experienced teachers to advanced courses to facilities and technology, and schools with large Black and Latino populations often have lower levels. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color. Low staff expectations at racially and economically segregated schools also contribute disparities in educational attainment. The accumulation of inequities leads to lower graduation rates and college matriculation, with college affordability acting as another barrier. When Black and Latino students enter higher education institutions, they are less likely to attain a college degree given weaker academic preparation and financial hardship.

Notes about the data

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.


Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States18%33%25%29%
Massachusetts11%30%23%23%
Region10%29%24%22%
Middlesex9%29%21%19%
Norfolk11%30%25%21%
Worcester12%27%27%28%
Acton town, Middlesex County4%******11%******16%******18%
Ashland town, Middlesex County6%******58%******10%******19%
Bedford town, Middlesex County5%******10%******7%******19%**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County22%******31%******51%******30%
Boxborough town, Middlesex County0%******9%******52%******20%**
Carlisle town, Middlesex County13%******0%******0%******17%**
Concord town, Middlesex County13%******17%****13%******10%**
Dedham town, Norfolk County16%******31%****28%****19%
Dover town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******10%**
Framingham city, Middlesex County11%****17%**22%**20%
Franklin town, Norfolk County6%******0%******48%******25%
Groton town, Middlesex County9%******0%******5%******15%**
Harvard town, Worcester County26%******22%******16%******18%**
Holliston town, Middlesex County8%******28%******26%******20%
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County1%******0%******31%******15%**
Hudson town, Middlesex County4%******17%******24%******23%
Lexington town, Middlesex County7%****7%******10%******9%
Lincoln town, Middlesex County29%******66%******48%******15%**
Littleton town, Middlesex County14%******71%******18%******21%
Marlborough city, Middlesex County15%******15%******18%****25%
Maynard town, Middlesex County0%******75%******54%******24%
Medfield town, Norfolk County0%******28%******6%******18%
Medway town, Norfolk County2%******52%******50%******20%
Milford town, Worcester County10%******45%******20%****28%
Millis town, Norfolk County19%******0%******18%******28%**
Natick town, Middlesex County8%****32%******21%******16%
Needham town, Norfolk County7%******30%******15%******11%
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******11%****
Southborough town, Worcester County13%******100%******14%******19%
Stow town, Middlesex County10%******0%******96%******17%**
Sudbury town, Middlesex County2%******9%******37%******10%**
Walpole town, Norfolk County17%******27%******17%******22%
Waltham city, Middlesex County16%****32%**14%**19%
Wayland town, Middlesex County3%******11%******11%******15%
Wellesley town, Norfolk County8%****23%******7%******8%
Westborough town, Worcester County2%******15%******25%****18%
Westford town, Middlesex County7%****46%******0%******19%
Weston town, Middlesex County6%******0%******0%******5%****
Westwood town, Norfolk County6%******0%******5%******18%**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Adults, by Education Level and Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States2,342,9168,761,3828,492,95747,929,591
Massachusetts35,61599,859106,721893,914
Region22,23132,49335,067380,506
Middlesex12,34715,75315,603163,273
Norfolk6,4429,7534,96682,770
Worcester3,4426,98714,498134,463
Acton town, Middlesex County139******59******108******2,021
Ashland town, Middlesex County96******443******74******1,988
Bedford town, Middlesex County86******18******18******1,463**
Bellingham town, Norfolk County30******76******177******3,332
Boxborough town, Middlesex County0******16******65******598**
Carlisle town, Middlesex County46******0******0******517**
Concord town, Middlesex County124******120****107******1,063**
Dedham town, Norfolk County96******380****389****3,013
Dover town, Norfolk County0******0******0******314**
Framingham city, Middlesex County532****491**1,556**7,445
Franklin town, Norfolk County71******0******215******5,248
Groton town, Middlesex County27******0******9******1,094**
Harvard town, Worcester County33******84******60******727**
Holliston town, Middlesex County37******40******62******1,855
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County10******0******97******1,519**
Hudson town, Middlesex County20******16******183******3,085
Lexington town, Middlesex County423****18******42******1,359
Lincoln town, Middlesex County91******39******100******603**
Littleton town, Middlesex County66******20******22******1,366
Marlborough city, Middlesex County255******153******668****5,645
Maynard town, Middlesex County0******84******71******1,628
Medfield town, Norfolk County0******24******11******1,360
Medway town, Norfolk County7******57******119******1,695
Milford town, Worcester County56******315******444****4,753
Millis town, Norfolk County24******0******26******1,573**
Natick town, Middlesex County306****173******132******3,450
Needham town, Norfolk County115******144******73******2,054
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0******0******0******277****
Southborough town, Worcester County137******7******21******1,016
Stow town, Middlesex County37******0******26******679**
Sudbury town, Middlesex County25******12******127******1,048**
Walpole town, Norfolk County159******79******139******3,308
Waltham city, Middlesex County768****883**600**5,719
Wayland town, Middlesex County35******11******40******1,192
Wellesley town, Norfolk County153****46******40******1,096
Westborough town, Worcester County49******59******175****1,656
Westford town, Middlesex County249****26******0******2,309
Weston town, Middlesex County64******0******0******318****
Westwood town, Norfolk County79******0******12******1,712**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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