Post-Secondary Education Level Growth in Southwestern Oregon, 2009 to 2015January 9, 2017 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of individuals having some college schooling, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree or higher has increased in Coos, Curry, and Douglas counties. Not to be confused with the rate of graduation across these tiers of education, these numbers offer a snapshot of each county’s population holding a certain level of education at that given time.
In Coos County, the population with some college or an associate’s degree increased by 6 percent, and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 5 percent from 2009 to 2015. Curry County experienced even larger gains in its population’s education levels – a 7 percent increase in those with some college or an associate’s degree, and a 35 percent increase in those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Additionally, Douglas County experienced growth of 23 percent in its citizens having some college or an associate’s degree, while those with a bachelor’s degree or higher grew by 12 percent.
Any number of reasons, separate or simultaneous, could have caused these changes. Those with a high school diploma in 2009 could very well have shifted to the number of those with any level of post-secondary education in year 2015. During recession, it is not uncommon for people to go back to school given their opportunity cost of doing so is minimal. The number of jobs with lower education requirements has gradually declined within the region. Additionally, there has been a larger influx of people with higher education into the region than those leaving the region.