Special Report

America's Most and Least Educated States

31. Texas
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.9%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $52,967 (12th highest)
> Median household income: $56,565 (25th highest)
> 2016 unemployment: 4.6% (23rd lowest)

Some 28.9% of adults in Texas have a bachelor’s degree, up about half a percentage point from the previous year. Despite the improvement, most states are home to a larger share of college educated adults.

The Lone Star State is also home to a relatively large share of adults without a high school diploma. Only 82.9% of Texans 25 and older have completed high school, the second smallest share of any state. Despite low educational attainment rates, the typical Texas household earns $56,565 a year, only slightly less than the $57,617 median income nationwide.

Source: flickr

32. Florida
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.6%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $45,031 (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $50,860 (13th lowest)
> 2016 unemployment: 4.9% (20th highest)

At 28.6%, the share of adults in Florida with at least a college degree is effectively the same as it was in 2015. A college education brings with it higher paying job opportunities — and in Florida, those without a college degree are far more likely than most Americans to face serious financial hardship. The median salary among adults with no more than a high school diploma in the state is only $26,129, the second lowest of any state.

Source: Thinkstock

33. Missouri
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.5%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $45,701 (11th lowest)
> Median household income: $51,746 (14th lowest)
> 2016 unemployment: 4.5% (22nd lowest)

Missouri residents are less likely to be college educated than Americans on the whole. Only 28.5% of the state’s adult population has a bachelor’s degree compared to 31.3% of Americans age 25 and older. Still, the state’s high school diploma attainment rate compares favorably to that of the nation. Some 89.6% of adults in the state have completed high school compared to 87.5% of American adults.

Source: Thinkstock

34. Iowa
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.4%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $48,207 (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,247 (25th lowest)
> 2016 unemployment: 3.7% (10th lowest)

The share of Iowa adults with a bachelor’s degree increased by 1.6 percentage points from 2015 to 2016 — the second greatest increase of any state and more than double the increase nationwide. Still, the state’s 28.4% bachelor’s degree attainment rate remains below that of most states and is considerably lower than the 31.3% share nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

35. Michigan
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.3%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $50,821 (20th highest)
> Median household income: $52,492 (18th lowest)
> 2016 unemployment: 4.9% (20th highest)

Just as it did nationwide, the share of adults in Michigan with a bachelor’s degree improved slightly in 2016. Still, the share of adults in the state with a college education of 28.3% remains below the comparable share in most states.

While adults in Michigan are less likely than American adults on the whole to have completed college, they are more likely to have earned a high school diploma. Some 90.4% of state residents 25 and older have finished high school compared to 87.5% of American adults.