Sunday, April 26, 2009

Education Is Destiny: Educated Poor Do As Well As The Lazy Rich

If you're born into the poorest quintile, and don't get a college degree, you have a 32% chance of making it into the middle class or above (top 3 quintiles). That rises to 62% if you get a college degree. Getting a college degree doubles your chance of having a successful life (if having a successful life is defined as rising to the economic middle class). You have an 84% chance of doing better than your parents.

If you're born into the top quintile and get a college degree, you have a 54% chance of doing as well as your parents, and an 89% chance of making it into the middle class or above. That drops down to 64% if you don't get a college degree.

In other words, you're almost as well off being born poor, but getting a college degree, than being born rich, but not going to college.

If the American dream is about being able to work hard and become successful, then it appears that the American dream is still alive and well--if you're able to earn a college degree.


Ben Casnocha said...

Shit. I'm screwed. :)

Chris said...

Don't worry Ben, you still have a 23% chance of making it into the top quintile. I'd put my money on you.

Dan Erwin said...

Even though money is first, there are other reasons for a college degree. Great networks, and exposure to new worlds, including some you didn't know existed.

But, Casnocha seems to easily make up for most of it with his reading. Then, too, he'd get more/better critical tools.

Roberto Medri said...

Casnocha futures for sale, or did I read it wrong? :)

Jenn said...

Numbers like this always disappoint me. Demographics play such a huge part of whether or not a certain generation will experience (as a whole group) great overall success or failure. I refer you to David Foot's excellent book 'Boom, Bust and Echo'.