Racial Equity
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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 positions a region well 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 county performing?

The share of Worcester County adults in 2018-22 with a bachelor's degree or higher was highest among Asian residents (63%), followed by White residents (39%), Black or African American residents (34%) and Hispanic or Latino residents (18%). Worcester County had similar rates to the state for Asian residents, although its rate for White residents with a bachelor's degree was nine points lower. The County also had higher shares of African American residents with at least a bachelor's degree compared to the national level at 24%.

All groups in Worcester County increased their rates of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher since 2008-12. African American residents had the largest increase of eight percentage points, while White resident increased by five points, Latino residents increased by four points, and Asian residents by three points. On the other end of the spectrum, the share of adults in Worcester County with less than a high school diploma was highest among Latinos at 27%, on par with the state and the nation.

Why do these disparities exist?

A variety of factors contribute to disparities in educational attainment nationwide. 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 across the country 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 of resources. 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 can 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 a 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
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County11%30%25%27%
Athol44%***0%***15%***31%
Clinton20%***40%***36%*29%
Fitchburg23%***31%*28%33%
Gardner22%***19%***35%**35%
Northbridge0%***35%***29%***30%
Southbridge25%***29%***24%*30%
Spencer0%***38%***5%***27%
Webster27%***31%***31%**33%
Westborough4%***25%***21%***18%
Worcester14%*29%24%25%
Massachusetts10%30%22%23%
Additional Worcester County localities
Ashburnham0%***0%***89%***37%
Auburn8%***58%***19%***25%
BarreN/A***0%***43%***23%*
Berlin21%***4%***33%***18%*
Blackstone0%***0%***71%***30%
Bolton0%***N/A***21%***14%*
Boylston17%***100%***17%***29%*
Brookfield100%***0%***0%***31%*
Charlton67%***69%***22%***26%
Douglas0%***0%***66%***28%
Dudley12%***67%***54%***34%
East Brookfield0%***40%***75%***32%*
Grafton11%***36%***28%**21%
Hardwick0%***N/A***24%***34%
Harvard16%***17%***16%***18%*
Holden13%***24%***33%***22%
Hopedale0%***31%***0%***25%*
Hubbardston0%***87%***67%***35%
Lancaster22%***19%***19%***20%*
Leicester28%***62%***45%***35%
Lunenburg29%***13%***16%***26%
Mendon0%***100%***43%***23%*
Milford12%***49%***18%**26%
Millbury26%***22%***41%***32%
Millville0%***0%***24%***33%*
New BraintreeN/A***15%***N/A***30%*
Northborough2%***35%***27%***19%
North Brookfield0%***41%***18%***26%
OakhamN/A***20%***10%***28%
Oxford37%***42%***26%***31%
Paxton24%***56%***28%***27%*
Petersham0%***100%***100%***30%*
PhillipstonN/A***0%***0%***34%
PrincetonN/A***0%***29%***23%
Royalston0%***N/A***N/A***29%*
Rutland12%***0%***25%***31%*
Shrewsbury6%**27%***21%**19%
Southborough4%***34%***23%***18%
Sterling100%***45%***19%***24%*
Sturbridge5%***10%***31%***31%
Sutton11%***44%***30%***29%
Templeton0%***0%***29%***36%
Upton0%***0%***11%***29%*
Uxbridge68%***26%***60%***31%
Warren0%***0%***0%***24%*
West Boylston0%***26%***14%***28%
West BrookfieldN/A***N/A***48%***30%*
Westminster68%***N/A***30%***26%*
Winchendon27%***0%***18%***35%
Leominster21%***34%*23%*29%

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
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County3,3568,09615,183133,132
Athol38***0***70***2,512
Clinton48***90***576*2,793
Fitchburg113***524*1,9136,782
Gardner122***47***394**4,990
Northbridge0***35***176***3,230
Southbridge34***136***830*2,609
Spencer0***40***15***2,311
Webster46***183***458**3,386
Westborough144***91***164***1,789
Worcester1,344*4,4576,70422,088
Massachusetts34,77597,222110,537857,382
Additional Worcester County localities
Ashburnham0***0***119***1,563
Auburn26***37***95***2,850
Barre0***0***26***876*
Berlin19***1***14***456*
Blackstone0***0***168***1,833
Bolton0***0***33***444*
Boylston23***15***15***995*
Brookfield6***0***0***754*
Charlton16***11***48***2,302
Douglas0***0***98***1,749
Dudley31***170***111***2,314
East Brookfield0***4***58***499*
Grafton127***75***154**2,405
Hardwick0***0***21***619
Harvard37***52***68***741*
Holden38***66***193***2,662
Hopedale0***12***0***949*
Hubbardston0***46***38***1,003
Lancaster11***47***81***1,132*
Leicester15***103***138***2,491
Lunenburg29***20***29***2,028
Mendon0***25***38***916*
Milford80***351***393**4,422
Millbury140***29***72***2,889
Millville0***0***7***726*
New Braintree0***3***0***221*
Northborough29***115***79***1,703
North Brookfield0***12***4***882
Oakham0***3***1***324
Oxford26***62***71***2,828
Paxton8***10***33***816*
Petersham0***5***11***259*
Phillipston0***0***0***453
Princeton0***0***13***564
Royalston0***0***0***289*
Rutland17***0***37***1,752*
Shrewsbury359**273***246**3,632
Southborough49***10***50***979
Sterling22***25***22***1,441*
Sturbridge9***10***61***2,025
Sutton13***16***25***1,794
Templeton0***0***31***2,009
Upton0***0***17***1,420*
Uxbridge26***32***139***3,027
Warren0***0***0***802*
West Boylston0***57***37***1,540
West Brookfield0***0***32***939*
Westminster36***0***19***1,575*
Winchendon60***0***41***2,257
Leominster215***796*897*7,493

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
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





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