The number of college-age adults in Utah with a post-secondary degree rose by more than 5,000 from 2009 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Officials say the numbers are promising, but more work is required to reach Utah's education goals, especially among female students who continue to lag beyond their counterparts in other states in completing college.
In 2010, there were 168,410 graduates in the state between the ages of 25 and 34, or 38.5 percent of Utah's population of 25- to 34-year-olds. That number was 0.4 percent higher than in 2009, about equal to the percent average for that age group nationally.
While the increase reflects that more Utahns are pursuing higher education, the numbers alone do not necessarily offer good news about the rate of completion by those beginning a college education. More students attending school means more students both failing and succeeding at completing their studies. And the state-by-state figures also reflect those who completed degrees out of state, but who now reside in Utah.