Census Says Americans Learn More, Earn Less

A HIGHER percentage of the United States adult population had high school diplomas (80 percent) and bachelor's degrees (22 percent) in 1993 than at any time in America's history, according to a report from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau released last week.

Other statistics in the report include:

* Real median household income in 1992 ($30,786) was not significantly different from 1991 ($31,034), after having declined for two consecutive years.

* The median earnings of women, aged 25 and older, who worked year-round full time was $18,648 for high school graduates in 1992; $24,849 for those with a two-year associate's degree; $29,284 for those with a four-year bachelor's degree; and $35,018 for those with a master's degree. Comparable figures for men were $26,766, $32,349, $40,381, and $47,260.

* 36.9 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 1992, the highest number since 1962.

* A higher proportion of Americans voted in the 1992 election (61 percent of eligible voters) than in any election since 1972.

* A higher proportion of fathers are primary child-care providers than ever before. In 1991, 20 percent of preschoolers whose mothers worked outside the home were cared for by their fathers. This was up from 15 percent in 1988.

* Women are delaying marriage. The proportion of women aged 25 to 29 who have never married tripled in the past 20 years, from 11 percent in 1970 to 33 percent in 1992.

* In 1992, 24 percent of never-married women between the ages of 18 and 44 had given birth, up from 15 percent in 1982.

* Women-owned businesses grew at four times the rate of all businesses from 1982 to 1987. The number of businesses owned by women grew from 2.6 million in 1982 to 4.1 million in 1987.

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