Skip to main content

We're Number...Well, actually, we're pretty average

In some sense, using weighted averages to compare the US to the average value of any set of countries (especially when you don't include Russia, India, or China) is tautological; we're so big, we pull the average toward us by our mass.  Still, there is some interesting stuff here.

This visualization shows the number per 100 of students who are at the typical bachelor's degree-earning age who actually received a degree in the year shown.  In other words, if the typical age to receive a BA in the tiny country of Karpathia is 23, and there were 100 students aged 23 in 2009, how many of them earned a degree?

The visualization is sorted by 2011, but you can look at any year by hovering just to the right of the year label at the top of any column, and clicking the little icon that appears.  Clicking again will sort in reverse order, and clicking again will sort alphabetically.

It also starts off showing the "Total" value, but you can choose just women or just men; I encourage you to do so, as even more interesting details emerge.

Note: Finland has some funky numbers due to a government incentive that caused many students to accelerate a year, so they spike way up in 2008 and way down (for them, at least) in 2009.

So next time you want to say the US is the best, please be sure to make sure you're not talking about degree attainment.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So you think you're going back to the SAT and ACT?

Now that almost every university in the nation has gone test-optional for the 2021 cycle out of necessity, a nagging question remains: How many will go back to requiring tests as soon as it's possible?  No one knows, but some of the announcements some colleges made sounded like the kid who only ate his green beans to get his screen time: They did it, but they sure were not happy about it.  So we have some suspicions about the usual suspects. I don't object to colleges requiring tests, of course, even though I think they're not very helpful, intrinsically biased against certain groups, and a tool of the vain.  You be you, though, and don't let me stop you. However, there is a wild card in all of this: The recent court ruling prohibiting the University of California system from even using--let alone requiring--the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions next fall.  If you remember, the Cal State system had already decided to go test blind, and of course community colleges in

Baccalaureate origins of doctoral recipients

Here's a little data for you: 61 years of it, to be precise.  The National Science Foundation publishes its data on US doctoral recipients sliced a variety of ways, including some non-restricted public use files that are aggregated at a high level to protect privacy. The interface is a little quirky, and if you're doing large sets, you need to break it into pieces (this was three extracts of about 20 years each), but it may be worth your time to dive in. I merged the data set with my mega table of IPEDS data, which allows you to look at institutions on a more granular level:  It's not surprising to find that University of Washington graduates have earned more degrees than graduates of Whitman College, for instance.  So, you can filter the data by Carnegie type, region or state, or control, for instance; or you can look at all 61 years, or any range of years between 1958 and 2018 and combine it with broad or specific academic fields using the controls. High school and indep

2018 Admissions Data

This is always a popular post, it seems, and I've had a couple of people already ask when it was going to be out.  Wait no more. This is IPEDS 2018 admissions data, visualized for you in two different ways.  You can switch using the tabs across the top. The first view is the universe of colleges and universities that report data; not every college is required to, and a few leave data out, and test optional colleges are not supposed to report test scores.  But IPEDS is not perfect, so if you find any problems, contact the college. On the first view, you'll see 1,359 four-year private and public, not-for-profit institutions displayed.  In order to make this as clean as possible, I've taken out some specialty schools (nursing, business, engineering, etc.) as many of those don't have complete data.  But you can put them back in using the filter at top right. Hover over any bar, and a little chart pops up showing undergraduate enrollment by ethnicity. You can also