The numbers of Arizona adults with bachelor's degrees rose to 26.6 percent in 2011, up 0.7 of a percentage point in one year, the Arizona Board of Regents reported Tuesday.

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In a press release, the board said its development of a statewide plan to reach the national average of adults with bachelor’s degrees "is making steady progress toward that goal."

The national average in 2011 was 28.5 percent. The statistics reflect people 25 and older.

“This is positive news for Arizona as higher education attainment is directly linked to our state’s economic success and individual earning potential,” Board of Regents Chair Rick Myers was quoted in the press release as saying. “Higher education drives innovation, ideas, research and entrepreneurial activity that results in business development and job creation throughout the state."

The number of Arizona adults with an associate degree saw a minor increase, from 8.1 percent in 2010 to 8.3 percent in 2011.

The Board of Regents oversees the state's three universities -- the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

The Board of Regents holds the broadcasting licenses for and ownership of Arizona Public Media, but has no say in the news content of AZPM's broadcasts or website.