Clear majorities of all major subgroups of the U.S. population said a college education is very important, although the view varies by age, race, gender, education and partisanship, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
Results found Americans who have college degrees are significantly more likely than those who don't to say that a college education is "very" important.
The perceived value of a college education is slightly higher among 18- to 29-year-old respondents, 74 percent, than it is among those who are 65 years and older, at 67 percent, Gallup said.
The value of a college education is significantly higher among non-whites than it is among whites, results indicated.
Women are more likely than men to value a college degree, which Gallup said may reflect higher percentages of women enrolled in higher education compared with years past.
In 1978, when Gallup first asked the question as part of a Phi Delta Kappa survey, just 36 percent of Americans said they considered a college education to be very important.
Results are based on nationwide phone interviews with 1,031 adults conducted Dec. 5-8. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points.
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