The 60-Second Guide To Education In The US

Education: a topic so broad that you can get nearly anyone into a heated debate about some aspect of it. At Edudemic, we talk a lot about innovation in education, trends, and technology. That means we either don’t discuss or gloss over a large number of relevant and important discussions about pedagogy, money, access, and more. The handy infographic below offers a snapshot of education in the US. Take a look and you’ll see a number of statistics about graduation rate, cost, and lots of other things. Tell us what you think – weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Education in the United States

  • Public spending on education in the US is about $ 113.7 billion. That is compared with $472.9 billion spent on Welfare programs and $858.2 billion spent on public healthcare programs (like Medicare/Medicaid)
  • 25% of all students in the US take at least one online course, reflecting a 13% increase over the last five years
  • Statistically, students with more online credits are more likely to graduate
  • The average difference in yearly salary between an individual with a high school degree and a four year degree is $22,600
  • 42% of all 25-64 year olds in the US have a college diploma
  • Tertiary attainment in the US is growing at a slower rate than average
  • Production and nonsupervisory workers make up 80% of the US workforce. Their salaries have stayed relatively steady throughout the years while the cost of private college has risen dramatically


education in usa



  1. Kristen

    May 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Great infographic! They seem to be a popular thing in the education world and for good reason. I like this because it really lays out the statistics, however, I wish there was a date. This article is current I just hope the infographic is as well! I find it really interesting that welfare spending is higher than education. Maybe if more money was put into education there would be less who relied on welfare because they could actually make a living wage. Perhaps putting some money into education now would pay off in the long run when welfare spending decreased. Or maybe that is just good old simplistic wishful thinking. Thanks for sharing this infographic.

    • Joy

      May 8, 2014 at 2:27 am

      Its funny but if you notice the difference in annual salary between college educated individuals and high school grads it is minimal. Many people believe that you don’t NEED a college degree to earn money what you really need is a trade. Putting a roof over your head warding off a heart attack , diabetes, cancer these are in fact more important than education – obviously as the effects can be more than debilitating. The gap between the two groups of people will continue to increase. ‘Education’ is not really what it seems not when every body is just in it for the money and no longer because of genuine interest or passion.