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Educational Attainment of Adults Experiencing Intergenerational Poverty

November 7, 2019

IGP Graph

Educational attainment, specifically to the college level, played a significant role in differentiating reference group adults (those that experience some poverty) and individuals experiencing intergenerational poverty (IGP) in the Utah Data Research Center’s study. 

IGP individuals in the study tend to lack education beyond a high school level (52.70% have a high school level education), and many did not complete high school (21.10% lack a high school diploma or GED). Beyond a high school level, 6.71% of adults experiencing IGP have at least one college degree, and 7.27% have attended post-secondary school or have attended school for a certificate or completed a certificate. Many individuals experiencing IGP may choose not to pursue higher education or may lack the resources or tools needed to pursue higher education because these resources are not available to them in young adulthood. 

Surprisingly, obtaining a post-secondary certificate did not reduce the probability of experiencing IGP. Adult males experiencing IGP, and attending certificate programs especially, do not appear to greatly benefit from obtainment of certificates in Utah. However, adults experiencing IGP and reference adults earned similar certificate types at UTech institutions, so the reason for correlation between certificate obtainment and IGP, especially in males, remains somewhat unclear. 

Individuals experiencing IGP may be living in closer proximity to UTech institutions than reference individuals, and are therefore more likely to attend them. Similarly, IGP and reference individuals earned similar degree types at USHE institutions, so they likely enter or look for jobs in the same fields. Difference in selected workforce industries also cannot explain differences in adults experiencing IGP and reference group adults. 

To learn more about the educational attainment of adults experiencing intergenerational poverty, read the report here: