During the past decade, the highest rate of increases in educational attainment were doctorate and master's degrees, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The population with a doctorate grew by about 1 million, or 45 percent, while those who held a master's climbed by 5 million, or 43 percent.

Meanwhile, the population with an associate degree rose by 5 million, or 31 percent. Those whose highest degree was a bachelor's degree grew at a smaller rate: 25 percent to 41 million. Meanwhile, the number of those without a high school or GED diploma declined by 13 percent, falling to 25 million. The rates of increase for doctorate and master's holders were not significantly different from one another.

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