Skip to main content

A look at the states: Ethnicity and Age

 As is often the case, this started with some work I was doing anyway regarding a question someone asked me about different states and public universities and how the composition of the student body mirrored or varied from the population in general.  That will probably come about later, but for now, a look at just the population.

With a few exceptions, most of the enrollment at your institution is driven by geography; the majority of your enrollment will come from within 500 miles of  your campus. (The exception might be states like Texas, where I once looked at data for a private university and told them that--from a geodemographic standpoint, their top three markets were Texas, Texas, and Texas.)

In addition, though, age is a confounding factor.  In the US, as you look at older populations, you get more white people; as you look at younger populations, you see more diversity.  Thus, it's not just the makeup of the state; it's the makeup of the people in the state who are mostly likely to go to college we might want to look at.  So, here we go.

This is pretty easy: It starts with the makeup of the entire US population; the five bars on the left show breakouts by age.  The sixth bar shows the overall composition of the selection you've made, and the seventh shows the entire US as a comparison.  It does not change.

Choose a state, or choose a region to change the six bars on the left.  Some suggestions to see how regions vary, and how they vary over time: West Virginia, California, Minnesota, and Florida.)  Once I get a reasonable set of flagships and land grants in all the states, I may do some comparisons.

A note about the data: This is from the Census Bureau's table creator, using 2018 American Community Survey data. It' notoriously hard to use, and the data are extraordinarily hard to visualize given the formats of the output.  But some spot checks suggest this is correct.  The extraction process requires you to export Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations separately in order to keep your sanity.  For the Hispanic populations, I rolled all the races into just the "Hispanic" category to follow the convention of higher education reporting.  As we know, race and ethnicity in America are complicated; the link above can get you what you want.  Have at it.

As always, let me know what you see here that looks interesting, compelling (or wrong).


Popular posts from this blog

The Highly Rejective Colleges

If you're not following Akil Bello on Twitter, you should be.  His timeline is filled with great insights about standardized testing, and he takes great effort to point out racism (both subtle and not-so-subtle) in higher education, all while throwing in references to the Knicks and his daughter Enid, making the experience interesting, compelling, and sometimes, fun. Recently, he created the term " highly rejective colleges " as a more apt description for what are otherwise called "highly selective colleges."  As I've said before, a college that admits 15% of applicants really has a rejections office, not an admissions office.  The term appears to have taken off on Twitter, and I hope it will stick. So I took a look at the highly rejectives (really, that's all I'm going to call them from now on) and found some interesting patterns in the data. Take a look:  The 1,132 four-year, private colleges and universities with admissions data in IPEDS are incl

Freshman Migration, 1986 to 2020

(Note: I discovered that in IPEDS, Penn State Main Campus now reports with "The Pennsylvania State University" as one system.  So when you'd look at things over time, Penn State would have data until 2018, and then The Penn....etc would show up in 2020.  I found out Penn State main campus still reports its own data on the website, so I went there, and edited the IPEDS data by hand.  So if you noticed that error, it should be corrected now, but I'm not sure what I'll do in years going forward.) Freshman migration to and from the states is always a favorite visualization of mine, both because I find it a compelling and interesting topic, and because I had a few breakthroughs with calculated variables the first time I tried to do it. If you're a loyal reader, you know what this shows: The number of freshman and their movement between the states.  And if you're a loyal viewer and you use this for your work in your business, please consider supporting the costs

The College Finder

Note: A few people have commented on slow loading with the visualization.  If you have troubles, click here to be taken right to the visualization .  It should open in a new tab and you can follow along from there.    This is always a popular post with high school counselors, IECs, parents, and students who are looking for general information on degrees awarded, or a very specific combination of academic programs, location, and other institutional characteristics. It uses IPEDS data I downloaded as soon as I can when it became available (and before a looming government shutdown), and shows all 1,700 majors recognized by the federal government in the IPEDS system, using CIP codes, and the number of degrees awarded by college in any selected area. For instance, you might have a question about which college awards the most degrees in French Language and Literature: A few clicks, and you find it's the University of Arizona.  If you want a colder climate, choose the Great Lakes region,