Thursday, March 11, 2010

Educational Attainment - Years of Post-Secondary Education

Portland economist Joe Cortright has done some interesting work with a new measure of metropolitan educational attainment known as years of post-secondary education (YPSE). This measure provides a broad measure of education that includes people who have received associate degrees and professional certifications not just bachelor's degrees or higher.

The YPSE is defined as the average number of years post-secondary education completed by persons aged 25 and older and is based on the annual American Community Survey.

Seattle/King County fares pretty well using this measure. The average YPSE is 2 years as compared to 1.9 in Portland or 1.58 in Phoenix and we rank 8th among metropolitan areas in the country.

The weakness of this measure as a benchmark for success is that for an in-migration city like Seattle, we may end up taking credit for the attractiveness of our environment rather than the achievement of our own schools.

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