Number of higher education degrees earned in the United States from 1950 to 2026 (in 1,000)

Degrees in higher education in the U.S. 1950-2026 The graph shows the number of higher education degrees earned in the United States from 1949/50 to 2014/15. Projected numbers are displayed from 2015/16 to 2026/27. In 2014/15 academic year, about 3.8 million degrees were earned in the United States.
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Number of degrees (in thousands)
2026-27*4,493
2025-26*4,441
2024-25*4,384
2023-24*4,325
2022-23*4,253
2021-22*4,100
2020-21*4,177
2019-20*4,027
2018-19*3,956
2017-18*3,905
2016-17*3,860
2015-16*3,840
2014-153,846.16
2013-143,807.48
2012-13 3,774.55
2011-12 3,740.07
2010-11 3,554.31
2009-10 3,350.68
2008-09 3,205.29
2007-08 3,093.28
2006-07 3,007.49
2005-06 2,936.1
2004-05 2,850.46
2003-04 2,755.2
2002-03 2,623.11
2001-02 2,494.01
2000-01 2,416.12
1999-00 2,384.73
1998-99 2,329.96
1997-98 2,297.73
1996-97 2,288.11
1995-96 2,247.7
1994-95 2,217.7
1993-94 2,205.58
1992-93 2,167.04
1991-92 2,108.43
1990-91 2,024.67
1989-90 1,940.11
1988-89 1,872.72
1987-88 1,834.84
1986-87 1,822.58
1985-86 1,830
1984-85 1,828.45
1983-84 1,818.49
1982-83 1,814.88
1981-82 1,787.81
1980-81 1,752.17
1979-80 1,731.15
1978-79 1,726.75
1977-78 1,743.78
1976-77 1,740.68
1975-76 1,725.68
1974-75 1,665.55
1973-74 1,654.37
1972-73 1,586.7
1971-72 1,507.69
1970-71 1,392.6
1969-70 1,271.41
1959-60 476.7
1949-50 496.66
Number of degrees (in thousands)
2026-27*4,493
2025-26*4,441
2024-25*4,384
2023-24*4,325
2022-23*4,253
2021-22*4,100
2020-21*4,177
2019-20*4,027
2018-19*3,956
2017-18*3,905
2016-17*3,860
2015-16*3,840
2014-153,846.16
2013-143,807.48
2012-13 3,774.55
2011-12 3,740.07
2010-11 3,554.31
2009-10 3,350.68
2008-09 3,205.29
2007-08 3,093.28
2006-07 3,007.49
2005-06 2,936.1
2004-05 2,850.46
2003-04 2,755.2
2002-03 2,623.11
2001-02 2,494.01
2000-01 2,416.12
1999-00 2,384.73
1998-99 2,329.96
1997-98 2,297.73
1996-97 2,288.11
1995-96 2,247.7
1994-95 2,217.7
1993-94 2,205.58
1992-93 2,167.04
1991-92 2,108.43
1990-91 2,024.67
1989-90 1,940.11
1988-89 1,872.72
1987-88 1,834.84
1986-87 1,822.58
1985-86 1,830
1984-85 1,828.45
1983-84 1,818.49
1982-83 1,814.88
1981-82 1,787.81
1980-81 1,752.17
1979-80 1,731.15
1978-79 1,726.75
1977-78 1,743.78
1976-77 1,740.68
1975-76 1,725.68
1974-75 1,665.55
1973-74 1,654.37
1972-73 1,586.7
1971-72 1,507.69
1970-71 1,392.6
1969-70 1,271.41
1959-60 476.7
1949-50 496.66

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Description Source More information
The graph shows the number of higher education degrees earned in the United States from 1949/50 to 2014/15. Projected numbers are displayed from 2015/16 to 2026/27. In 2014/15 academic year, about 3.8 million degrees were earned in the United States.
Show more
Release date
March 2017
Region
United States
Survey time period
1950-2015
Supplementary notes
The numbers presented here are total Associate's degrees granted + total Bachelor's degrees granted + total Master's degrees granted + total Doctor's degrees granted.
*Projection

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