The second chapter of The State of the South 2010 series examines the South's lagging educational attainment rates, particularly among African Americans and Latinos.

Most Southern states lag not just the United States but many developed nations in college completion rates —just as national recognition is growing that improving the number of people who get a college certificate or degree is crucial to competing in the global economy.  

"For states and communities, a citizenry with a higher level of educational achievement has multiple pay-offs," the report says. "For one thing, people who go beyond high school have a habit of avoiding poverty; people with some college education or better tend to figure out how to sustain themselves in the middle class. What's more, the more parents are educated, the less likely their families and their children will fall into poverty; an aggressive offensive to increase the numbers of young people with degrees and credentials amounts to a frontal assault on intergenerational poverty." 
 
 Read the Report