Educational Attainment:    The Regional Scene

Details from graph available below

However, despite this increase in high school graduates, the analogous increase in the percent of people with at least a bachelor's degree was a mere 2.3 percentage points, which ranked 35th in the country. While Oklahomans increasingly appreciate the need for a high school diploma, pursuit of a college education remains underrated.

  • Among eleven regional comparison states, Oklahoma has the third lowest percent of college graduates (although New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana are all within 1 percentage point of Oklahoma);
  • The percent of college graduates in Oklahoma (20.1%) is below both national and regional averages (23.6% and 21.3%, respectively) and ranks 39th in the country;
  • An additional 72,300 Oklahomans 25 years or older needed to earn a bachelor's degree for Oklahoma to match the 1996 proportion of college graduates;
  • Oklahoma increased its proportion of college graduates between 1990 and 1996 by 2.3 percentage points (7th highest increase of eleven regional comparison states);
  • This is below the national increase of 3.2 percentage points, but above the regional increase of 1.9 percentage points;
  • Despite gaining ground on high school graduates, Oklahoma is not gaining any ground on neighboring states with respect to completion of 4-year college programs, and is actually loosing ground on the nation, overall.

(Source: USCB, 1990 Census Data; USCB, Current Population Reports [P20-493])

Details From Main Chart:
Oklahoma and National Populations That Earned a Bachelor's Degree or More
Change in Oklahoma and National Populations That Earned a Bachelor's Degree or More


Revised 12-01-97