41. South Dakota
> Most educated city: Sioux Falls
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 34.1%
> Median household income: $63,931
> Unemployment rate: 3.0%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 11
With 34.1% of adult residents holding a college degree, Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s most educated city. However, Sioux Falls did not have much competition as the state has only one other metro area, Rapid City.
Sioux Falls’ median household income is nearly $10,000 higher than the state median household income. At 10.4%, the area also has the third highest percentage of its labor force working in the financial activities industry of any metro area in the country. Jobs in finance typically require at least a bachelor’s degree.
> Most educated city: Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 34.2%
> Median household income: $60,030
> Unemployment rate: 2.7%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 56
The Nashville metro area is the only city in Tennessee where households earn higher income than the U.S. median household income. With an unemployment rate of 2.7%, Nashville is also the only metro area in the state with a jobless rate below the state rate of 3.3%.
Nashville’s college attainment rate is 5 percentage points higher than the next closest area in Tennessee. Likely, the Nashville area’s 56 postsecondary institutions like Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Belmont University contribute to the area’s higher educational attainment.
> Most educated city: Austin-Round Rock
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 42.8%
> Median household income: $71,000
> Unemployment rate: 3.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 43
Of the 25 metro areas in Texas, the Austin-Round Rock area has the highest college attainment rate at 42.8%. Austin’s poverty rate of 10.9% is also nearly 5 percentage points lower than the state poverty rate. The metro area also has the lowest percentage of people using SNAP or food stamps of any Texas metro area.
With more than 50,000 total students, the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest schools in the country. Austin is also the state capital, drawing in many professionals with degrees.
> Most educated city: Provo-Orem
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 38.2%
> Median household income: $69,288
> Unemployment rate: 3.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 18
Provo is Utah’s most educated city with more than 38% of its adult population holding at least a bachelor’s degree. The high educational attainment is likely bolstered by Brigham Young University. The college has over 33,000 total students.
Though Provo-Orem is Utah’s most educated metro area, three of Utah’s five metro areas have a college attainment rate above the state’s 32.6% rate. Logan’s bachelor’s degree attainment rate is 36.7%, and Salt Lake City’s is 33.0%.
> Most educated city: Burlington-South Burlington
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 43.2%
> Median household income: $66,367
> Unemployment rate: 2.4%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 8
Even though Burlington-South Burlington is Vermont’s only metro area and is the state’s most educated city by default, its college attainment rate is still impressive. More than 43% of adult residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree, well ahead of Vermont’s 36.4% college attainment rate.
The high level of education likely helps Burlington enjoy a strong economy. At just 2.4%, the area’s unemployment rate is the ninth-lowest in the country.