Make $23K more every year

How much is a bachelor's degree worth? About $23,000 a year, the government said in a report released last month.

204

That’s the average gap in earnings between adults with bachelor’s degrees and those with high school diplomas, according to data from the Census Bureau.

College graduates made an average of $51,554 in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for adults with a high school diploma. High school dropouts earned an average of $19,169 and those with advanced college degrees made an average of $78,093.

Among the other findings in the report:

Minnesota, Utah, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska had the highest proportions of adults with at least a high school diploma — all at about 92 percent.

Texas had the lowest proportion of adults with at least a high school diploma, about 78 percent. It was followed closely by Kentucky and Mississippi.

Connecticut was the state with the highest proportion of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree, nearly 37 percent. It was followed closely by Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey.

Nearly 47 percent of adults in Washington, D.C., had at least a bachelor’s degree.

West Virginia had the lowest proportion of college graduates, at 15 percent. It was followed at the bottom by Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana.