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Education Key to Detroit Region’s Economic Future

Prosperity in the 21st century is tied directly to how well people and entire regions are integrated into the knowledge economy. While it is well known that education is the key, it is becoming easier to quantify the relationship between education and regional economic prosperity.

Numerous studies make it clear that education and talent equates to economic development. This is true for individuals as well as entire regions. According to a Georgetown University study, between 1989 and 2012 job growth by education attainment showed 42 percent growth for people with an associate’s degree or some college and 82 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, the number of jobs for people with a high school diploma or less have declined by 14 percent over that same period. Clearly, the path to sustaining jobs involves a post-secondary education.

The organization CEOs for Cities has quantified the economic benefit of education in metropolitan regions. Their analysis notes that for every one percentage point increase in the adult population of a given region with a college degree, median per capita income increases $856. For the Detroit region, a one percent increase would equate to a $3.8 billion increase to annual regional income.