Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another Reason to Hire Copy Editors

The Chamber of Commerce of my county released their annual "hey, move your business here" magazine the other day, and the very first non-advertisement page has a section of demographics. One of the statistics cited:

"31% of adults over the age of 25 are high school graduates" -- when I read that, I nearly spewed my tea across the room. Only 31%? How can that be? You mean that most of the people I meet off-campus every day are high school dropouts? I e-mailed the Chamber for clarification, but got no response.

I finally got sick of waiting, and checked the US Census Bureau data, which said instead that 69% were high school graduates, meaning that 31 % are not high school graduates. Now, while I think this is still not a statistic to be proud of (the national average is just over 80%), it's way better than they advertised.

Incidentally, the Census Bureau also says that in this county 18.4% have a Bachelor's degree or higher, with that figure jumping up to 20.9% for those 25-34 years old -- figures that are a bit low for the national average (which is about 25%), but seem pretty high considering the high dropout rate. Since the figure is actually higher for 25-34 years old (i.e. younger than the Troy University faculty) it seems that educational attainment is rising to the national average. In other words, most of the people I meet off-campus are either high school dropouts or college graduates, with little middle ground.

Still, way better than the 31% graduation rate error in the magazine. It's time to add a copy editor to the staff.

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