A friend of mine recently sent me a link to the Brookings Institute's interactive "State of Metropolitan America Indicator Map," which shows educational attainment, race, age, and immigration status, among other things, across the country.
"The State of Metropolitan America is a signature effort of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program that portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation’s essential economic and societal units — its large metropolitan areas — and discusses what they imply for public policies to secure prosperity for these places and their populations."
In terms of high school attainment, Memphis is ranked 60th, with 81.5 percent of the population having graduating high school.
Memphis is ranked 70th (of 95 cities) in the percent of the population with bachelor's degrees and 67th in graduate degrees. Those percentages are 23 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.
Little Rock, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga all rated higher than Memphis in each of those categories.
In related news, Leadership Memphis plans to kick off its 100 Things in 100 Days project next week. As part of the group's larger college attainment initiative, Leadership Memphis is asking individuals to develop a list of 100 ideas that can be done within 100 days to increase the number of college graduates.
“While this short 100-day time frame poses a fun and interesting challenge for the community, this initiative is not to be taken lightly,” says David Williams, president and CEO of Leadership Memphis. “More college graduates will increase the attractiveness of our workforce for employers resulting in more jobs, serve as an antidote for poverty and improve the overall quality of life in the metro area.”
For data junkies out there, you can use the maps to drill down into certain subsects of the data, capturing educational attainment by race, for instance, or breaking data down by city, suburbs, or state.