NEW YORK (Reuters Blogs) -- I can't remember ever thinking that I might not go to college. Both of my parents have graduate-level degrees, as does my sister; I'm the least-educated member of my family. Which is why I'm shocked but not surprised by the amazing series of charts that Evan Soltas has put together at his blog about the way in which educational attainment is inherited.The short version can be told in the two charts below. The first shows the clear relationship between income (which runs along the x-axis) and educational attainment. You can't read the x-axis here, but the middle of the chart corresponds to an annual income of about $100,000 per year; below that, very few people have a college degree, while only at the very top of the income spectrum does it become the norm. Now look at the same chart, but looking only at people whose fathers have a college degree (the second chart below). Suddenly it's a sea of yellow, even at lower incomes, while the red bars (high-school dropouts) have pretty much almost entirely disappeared. The lower graph, of course, is what we would want the U.S. population as a whole to look like, in some ideal world: Just about everybody graduating high school, with lots of bachelor's (light yellow) and graduate (dark yellow) degrees. This is the world of opportunity facing people whose fathers graduated college, and it would be great if people whose fathers didn't graduate college had a glimpse of it.