A product of thePennsylvania Chamber Foundation

Education and Workforce

Pennsylvania does well overall in the education and workforce category, with good schools and a well-educated workforce. Out of ten measures included in the education and workforce category, three measures are in the top 10 of all 50 states.

The Commonwealth excels in K-12 education as well as advanced education. In K-12 education, Pennsylvania ranks 9th in 8th grade reading and 11th in 4th grade reading.  Pennsylvania is ranked 13th in 4th grade math and 13th in 8th grade math scores. The Commonwealth has declined relative to other states in high school graduation rates, moving from 14th in 2009 to 21st in 2016. Pennsylvania’s performance has remained average for bachelor’s degree attainment, ranking 23rd in 2017, but above average (ranking 18th) for advanced degree attainment. The commonwealth’s cost for public higher education is relatively high, ranking 47th for college affordability for public four-year institutions in the 2016-17 academic year. Pennsylvania has remained relatively constant, and currently ranks 7th in the national rankings of students taking the Advanced Placement exams. In terms of patents per capita, Pennsylvania is about average, with a ranking of 24th.

  2009 to Most Recent Change Most Recent PA Score Most Recent Median Score Most Recent PA Rank 2009 to Most Recent Change in Rank
School Quality: 4th Grade Reading Proficiency 3.38% 40.00% 36.00% 11 -1
School Quality: 4th Grade Math Proficiency 1.51% 44.00% 40.00% 13 -5
School Quality: 8th Grade Reading Proficiency 0.10% 40.00% 35.50% 9 -4
School Quality: 8th Grade Math Proficiency 1.85% 38.00% 34.00% 13 -3
High School Graduation Rate, Including GED Equivalency 5.10% 86.10% 85.50% 21 -7
Bachelors Degree Attainment 5.00% 31.40% 30.80% 23 +3
Advanced Degree Attainment 2.30% 12.50% 11.20% 18 No change
College Affordability $7,184.00 $25,331.00 $18,670.00 47 -1
Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Scores 0.80% 66.90% 59.50% 7 No change
Patents per Capita 10.20 34.52 32.36 24 No change