What are we measuring?
The college education attainment rate measures the percentage of residents in Fulton County 25 years and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. The rate is broken out further by degree level -- bachelor's, master's, professional and doctorate. The data for this measure comes from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Why are we measuring it?
A college education is more important than ever for success in today's economy. The fastest growing sectors--finance, health, education and business services--demand a college-educated workforce and those with only a high school diploma stand a good chance of being left behind. Additionally, data show that there is a strong positive relationship at the county level between household income and educational attainment.
The difference in lifetime earnings is substantial between those who have a college degree and those who have only a high school diploma. The average new college graduate at age 22 earns about 70 percent more than a high school graduate at the same age. In 2010, a college graduate at age 50 earned over $45,000 per year than someone with only a high school diploma. Over the course of a career, the average college graduate earns about $570,000 more than a person with only a high school diploma. 
How are we doing?
Over half of Fulton County's adult residents have a bachelor's degree or higher, placing it second only to Wake County, North Carolina among its benchmark counties. Fulton County has the highest percentage of residents with a graduate or professional degree (20.4%) and ranked fourth in the percentage with a bachelors degree (30.9%). The percentage of residents with at least a bachelor's degree increased by about 4 percent between 2008 and 2017.
1. Greenstone, Michael, and Looney, Adam. Where is the best place to invest $102,000 – In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree? Education, U.S. Higher Education, The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/where-is-the-best-place-to-invest-102000-in-stocks-bonds-or-a-college-degree/