New York’s lawmakers are the fourth most educated in the country, behind California, Virginia and Nebraska, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Nationwide, 74.7 percent of them have bachelor’s degrees or higher. In New York, 86.8 percent fall into that category, compared to 89.9 percent in California.
Fifty-six percent of legislators at the New York state Capitol hold degrees higher than a bachelor’s, while 31 percent have bachelor’s degrees only. Four percent of New York’s 212 lawmakers attended some college, and the remaining 7 percent did not take any college courses.
As for New York’s population as a whole, 44 percent did not go to college, 24 percent had some college, 18 percent have a bachelor’s degree and 14 percent have degrees higher than a bachelor’s, the Chronicle said.
This was the first time the Chronicle looked at where all state lawmakers in the country went to college. Not all of the almost 7,400 legislators pursued a college education. About 25 percent do not, the publication found. For those who did, the majority went to public colleges and universities and most stayed close to home.
The Chronicle said it took data from Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan group and supplemented it with its own research into the educational backgrounds of more than 1,000 lawmakers.