Why this report focuses on prime-age, white, college-educated males?

To help simplify this analysis, the report follows a common practice in labor economics to focus on prime-age males, defined as males aged 25-54. By restricting the analysis to prime-age males, the report is focused on the group most likely to be in the labor force, and avoids differences that may arise from variations in student populations, retirees, or women with children across geographic areas. Race has a significant impact on personal income per capita, and Portland-metro has a larger-than-average share of whites in its population compared to other U.S. metro areas. So, to correct for this factor, the analysis was further narrowed to look more closely at white males.

Prime-age, white, college-educated males comprise 33 percent of Portland-metroís college-educated labor force and account for 41 percent of all the earnings collected by Portland-metroís college-educated workers, giving a large, statistically robust group to analyze.

Narrowing the focus to this subgroup does not change the broader conclusions and implications of this analysis, specifically the need to create more robust job opportunities for ALL residents of the Portland-metro region, improving wages and incomes overall. Instead, it allows readers to more quickly digest the salient points without being diverted by questions about differences in core demographics across geographic areas.

Additional Subgroup Data

Readers interested in results for all college graduates or other major subgroups can find them here.