Most Educated City in Each State

Print Email

21. Massachusetts
> Most educated city: Boston-Cambridge-Newton
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 46.0%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 134
> Median household income: $78,800

The most educated state in the country, 41.5% of Massachusetts residents have a college education. Bachelor degrees are even more common in the Boston metro area, where 46.0% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree.

The high share of college educated adults in Boston is due largely to the high concentration of higher education institutions. There are over 100 accredited post-secondary schools in the metro area. Many of them, including MIT, Harvard, and Boston University, have extensive graduate degree programs and large research programs — both help add students and attract workers to the pool of college educated individuals in the area.

22. Michigan
> Most educated city: Ann Arbor
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 55.2%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 8
> Median household income: $61,977

According to the University of Michigan, 40% of its 26,000 employees are Ann Arbor residents. Many of these employees have a college degree. The university’s annual research budget of $466 million is also one of the nation’s largest. As a major research institution, the university drives up the area’s college attainment rate by attracting businesses and research organizations who require educated employees. The city is not only the most educated in Michigan but one of only a handful of U.S. metro areas where more than half of adults have at least a college degree.

23. Minnesota
> Most educated city: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 40.3%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 88
> Median household income: $71,008

Slightly more than two in every five adults in the Twin Cities metro area have at least a bachelor’s degree, far more than in any of Minnesota’s four other metro areas.

Incomes are relatively high across Minnesota, and they are even higher in the Minneapolis metro area. The typical area household earns $71,008 annually, about $7,500 more than the statewide median income and roughly $15,200 more than the comparable national figure.

24. Mississippi
> Most educated city: Jackson
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 29.0%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 22
> Median household income: $46,757

Just 20.8% of adults across Mississippi have a college education, the second-lowest such percentage of any state in the country. The 29% share of adults in the Jackson metro area with at least a bachelor’s degree is considerably larger, but still lower than the 30.6% national college attainment rate.

The higher concentration of four-year college graduates in Jackson largely explains the relatively high incomes in the area. The typical Jackson household earns $46,757 a year, considerably more than the median annual household income across Mississippi of $40,593 — the lowest compared with states.

25. Missouri
> Most educated city: Columbia
> Pct. with bachelor’s degree: 48.5%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 7
> Median household income: $50,520

The bachelor’s degree attainment rate in Columbia is far higher than in any other metro area in the state. It is also higher than all but six U.S. metros. Many college educated adults in the area are likely either graduates of or involved with the University of Missouri in some capacity. Nearly 6,500 graduate students attend and roughly 13,000 workers are employed at the university.