The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a series of visualizations that illustrate how more than 11 million U.S. adults live in education deserts—areas that are more than an hour’s drive from a public college. These deserts can make it difficult for individuals to access higher education, and can perpetuate a community’s limited economic mobility. The maps show that such deserts are prevalent in the West, including states such as Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. They also show that while white U.S. adults disproportionately live in such deserts, Native Americans are still five times more likely than a white adult to live in an education desert.
Visualizing Education Deserts
Michael McLaughlin is a research assistant at the Center for Data Innovation. He previously worked at Oracle and held internships at USA TODAY and in local government. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Michael graduated from Wake Forest University, where he majored in Communication with Minors in Politics and International Affairs and Journalism. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Communication at Stanford University, specializing in Data Journalism.
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