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In the Long Run: Nonmetro Educational Attainment

From 1970 to 2000, the share of nonmetro adults age 25 and older who did not complete high school fell by more than half—from 56 percent to 23 percent—while the share with at least a 4-year college degree more than doubled, from 7 percent to 16 percent. At the current rate of change, nonmetro educational attainment will reach a historic milestone early in the next decade, as adult college graduates will outnumber adults without a high school diploma. Nevertheless, nonmetro college completion rates remain well below the national average of 24 percent.