The States With the Largest Racial Gaps in College Completion Rates

Nationwide in 2000, 27 percent of white adults over the age of 25 held a four-year college degree. This was 12.7 percentage points higher than the rate for blacks, which stood at 14.3 percent.

But the nationwide racial gap in college completions varies to a large degree among the various states. In 48 of the 50 states of the union, whites are more likely to be college educated than blacks. But in Montana, 33.2 percent of black adults have a college degree compared to only 25.2 percent of  white adults. In Vermont, blacks are also more likely than whites to have graduated from college.

Among all the states, the largest difference in college completion rates between blacks and whites is in Connecticut. There, 34.2 percent of white adults have a college degree compared to 13.7 percent of black adults. Other states with large racial gaps are Colorado, Virginia, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York.