Educational attainment

Summary: The educational attainment levels of the working-age population (ages 25-64). Data for 2010 and 2017 represent five-year averages (e.g. 2013-2017).

Data Source(s): Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org, 1990 and 2000 5% samples, 2010 and 2017 American Community Survey 5-year samples.

Universe: All people ages 25 through 64.

Methods: The number and percentage of people ages 25-64 by level of educational attainment was calculated by race/ethnicity, gender, nativity, and ancestry for each year and geography. See the methodology page for other relevant notes.

Notes:

  • Latinos include people of Hispanic origin of any race and all other groups exclude people of Hispanic origin.
  • The high school diploma category of education includes those with an actual high school diploma as well as high school equivalency or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
  • Data for 2010 and 2017 represent 2006-2010 and 2013-2017 averages, respectively.

Disconnected Youth

Summary: The share of the population ages 16 to 24 who are not working or enrolled in school. Data for 2010 and 2017 represent five-year averages (e.g. 2013-2017).

Data Source(s): Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org, 1990 and 2000 5% samples, 2010 and 2017 American Community Survey 5-year samples.

Universe: All people ages 16 through 24.

Methods: The number and percentage of disconnected youth, among all youth ages 16 through 24 was calculated by race/ethnicity, gender, nativity, and ancestry for each year and geography. See the methodology page for other relevant notes.

Notes:

  • Latinos include people of Hispanic origin of any race and all other groups exclude people of Hispanic origin.
  • People in the armed forces during the time of the survey are considered to be employed (i.e. not disconnected).
  • Data for 2010 and 2017 represent 2006-2010 and 2013-2017 averages, respectively.

School poverty

Summary: The percentage of students attending public elementary and secondary schools by school poverty level. The year indicated is the latest of a given school year (e.g. 2010 refers to the 2009-2010 school year). School poverty levels are defined by the share of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch (FRPL) and include: "Low" (less than 25% FRPL), "Mid-low" (25-50% FRPL), "Mid-high" (50-75% FRPL), and "High" (greater than 75% FRPL).

Data Source(s): National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey.

Universe: All students attending public schools.

Methods: The share of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch (FRPL) was calculated at the school level for all public elementary and secondary schools. Schools were then classified into four groups—school poverty level categories—based on this share (low, mid-low, mid-high, and high), and the number and shares of students by school poverty level category were aggregated to the various Atlas geographies for each racial/ethnic group. For the vast majority of schools, the total student count is consistent with the sum of the counts by race/ethnicity. For a small number of schools, however, it is slightly higher given that the latter excludes any students belonging to an unknown or non-CCD race category. For this reason, data for all racial/ethnic groups combined (the "All" category) reported in the Atlas is based on the sum of student counts by race/ethnicity.

It is important to note that the measure of school poverty used, the share of students eligible for FRPL, is not always reported and is subject to some degree of error at the school level. The reasons for this include the fact that the count of students deemed FRPL-eligible may be taken at a different time than the total student count, and in some states, a single school may administer the free lunch program for a group of schools (in which case its count and share of FRPL-eligible students would be overstated). However, it is likely that any bias caused by these inconsistencies in reporting at the school level are largely mitigated once the data is aggregated across the many schools in a given Atlas geography. It is also important to note that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 changed eligibility requirements and this can impact comparability of the school poverty data over time. In particular, the Act introduced the Community Eligibility Option (CEO), available in 11 states (including the District of Columbia) by the 2013-14 school year and in all states in the 2014-15 school year, which allows more children to be eligible for FRPL. 

Given the prevalence of missing data for some schools and changes to eligibility requirements in recent years, we took precautions to avoid reporting data that are inaccurate or misleading. First, we do not report school poverty information if ten percent or more of the relevant student population attends schools that do not report valid (non-missing) FRPL eligibility data. Second, after making an initial calculation of the overall share of students eligible for FRPL based on available data for the 2009–10 through 2013–14 schools years, we examined changes in this measure over time for all 301 Atlas geographies and noted any dramatic year-to-year changes. School poverty data for a handful of Atlas geographies in certain years were set to missing based on this examination. See the methodology page for other relevant notes.

Notes: 

  • Latinos include people of Hispanic origin of any race and all other groups exclude people of Hispanic origin.
  • Data are not reported if 10 percent or more of the relevant student population attends schools that do not report valid (non-missing) FRPL eligibility data.
  • The year indicated is the latest of a given school year (e.g. 2010 refers to the 2009-2010 school year).

Life expectancy

Summary: Estimated life expectancy at birth based on abridged life tables constructed from mortality data by race/ethnicity and gender. The "years above average" measure in the ranking and map breakdowns reports the difference in life expectancy between a given racial/ethnic group and the overall population in a given geography, and therefore appears to be zero/missing when the race/ethnicity filter is set to "all." Data for each year represent an average over the previous five years (e.g. 2016 is a 2012-2016 average).

Data Source(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC WONDER, wonder.cdc.gov.

Universe: All people.

Methods: Life expectancy at birth by race/ethnicity for each year and geography was estimated using information on mortality and mid-year population estimates from the WONDER database using an abridged life tables approach. A life table is a table that includes the number of deaths, total population, probability of dying, and remaining life expectancy by single year of age for a given year or time period. Abridged life tables are similar, but present the information for age groups rather than by single year of age. Remaining life expectancy for each age group is largely a function of the probability of dying for people in their own age group and in older age groups. Due to non-disclusure of death counts for some age group cells by race/ethnicity, geography, and year, death rates were at times substituted from higher levels of geographic aggregation. Given this, measures were taken to avoid reporting unreliable estimates – that is, estimates with too many substitutions. Specifically, we only report estimates for which at least 90 percent of the total number of deaths for a population are from age groups that had disclosed death counts in the underlying data and did not require substitution of death probabilities from higher levels of geography. We also only report estimates based on at least 100 total deaths (for all age groups combined). See the methodology page for other relevant notes.

Notes:

  • Latinos include people of Hispanic origin of any race and all other groups exclude people of Hispanic origin.
  • No data is available for the Mixed/other population or for all people of color combined.
  • No data is reported unless at least 90 percent of the total number of deaths for a population are from age groups that had disclosed death counts in the underlying data and did not require substitution of death probabilities from higher levels of geography.
  • No data is reported unless based on at least 100 total deaths (for all age groups combined).