College graduates have a higher labor market outcome than less educated adults. They are more likely to be employed and receive higher wages. This is true for all demographic groups, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or nativity. These differences are well-documented and measured.
But what about wealth? But wealth is an important indicator of economic well-being. However, it is hard to measure so information about wealth is not widely available. Recent data from the US Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, (SIPP) has been used.
According to estimates, Californians are more wealthy than those in the rest of America. The median household net worth for adults aged 25-plus in California was $135,000, while it was $105,000 elsewhere in the United States. Many are concerned about income inequality. However, wealth distribution is more uneven. This is particularly evident when we look at wealth according to educational attainment. California’s median household net worth is nearly four times greater for those with at least a bachelor’s degree than it is for high school graduates ($95,000). The difference in the rest of the country is slightly less than threefold. One in four California college graduates is a millionaire, while one in fourteen high school graduates is.
Wealth accumulates over time for most people. Their wealth increases year after year as college graduates earn high salaries. California’s 25-34-year-old college graduates have a negative net worth. This means they have more student loan debt than assets. However, as debt decreases and wealth increases over time. Half of the California’s recent college graduates (those between 65-74) are millionaires.
Higher education is a key factor in economic growth for both individuals and the state.