In a brief speech on Tuesday evening, during the barbershop and salon business hours regulation discussion, Rigo Rodriguez, councilman at-large, mayoral candidate, commented that, only about 2-percent of Patersonians hold a college degree. He said, “Statistics shows that about two percent of Patersonians hold a college degree — two percent!”
That number considerably discounts the true percentage of city residents who have suffered through four-years or more of higher education to earn a degree. 9.9-percent of Patersonians have college degrees, according to Census Bureau. This number does not count the number of city residents who have attended countless courses in Passaic County Community College and have earned a two-year degree: an associate. It would surprise no one if that number was much higher.
The 9.9-percent only counts residents over the age of 25, who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher: it includes individuals with master’s and doctorates. And it excludes two of our reporters under the age of 25.
In Newark 12.5-percent of residents hold a BA or higher; in Jersey City 40.6-percent of residents hold a BA or higher. In New Jersey 35-percent of residents hold a BA or higher, according to the bureau. Jersey City is a strange anomaly among the top three cities of the state with a considerably higher number of residents holding a BA or higher.
The city might not be able to catch up to Jersey City anytime soon, but there are efforts to increase college enrollment for city residents. Consider the new plan in the Paterson Public School District to expose grade schoolers to college education – some 6th graders are sent home with college prospectuses.
It should be noted though, during the same meeting other council members lightly and humorously derided Rodriguez’s ability to spout accurate statistics. Rodriguez said, “St. Joe’s hospital, I think employs 4,500 individuals in our city.” Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, who works for the hospital, energetically interjected, “Six thousand,” as some in the room burst out laughing.
The 9.9 data is from 2011, in 2013 that number is probably a little higher.