Charted: More than ever, Americans need a college degree to get by

Even though employment and earnings have improved for many Americans in the last quarter century, they have worsened pretty dramatically for people with less education, according to a new analysis of changes in US census data between 1990 and 2013.

Men who don’t have a high school degree are earning 20% less than they were two decades ago, according to an analysis from the Hamilton Project (PDF), a group at the Brookings Institution, a Washington DC-based think tank focused on making economic growth more broadly based. (All the data in the report covers people in what are usually their prime earning years, 30-45.)

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