The Most Educated City in Every State

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11. Hawaii
> Most educated city: Urban Honolulu
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 34.4%
> Median household income: $80,513
> Unemployment rate: 2.3%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 22

Urban Honolulu beat out Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii’s only other metro area, as the state’s most educated city. Some 34.4% of the area’s adult population holds at least a bachelor’s degree.

Even though Urban Honolulu’s education attainment rate is not as high as compared to some other highly educated cities, it ranks high in several economic measures. Among all U.S. metro areas, it is in the top 10 in median household income at $80,513 and has the sixth-lowest unemployment rate at 2.3%. However, both of those figures are bolstered by the state’s strong economy. The Aloha State has a median annual household income of $74,511 and a 2.6% unemployment rate, compared to the U.S. median household income of $57,617 and an unemployment rate of 4.4%.

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12. Idaho
> Most educated city: Boise City
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 31.3%
> Median household income: $55,162
> Unemployment rate: 2.7%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 21

Some 31.3% of adults 25 and older in the Boise, Idaho metro area have at least a four-year college degree — tied with the Idaho Falls metro area as the highest share in the state. However, as a percentage of the total population, the Boise metro area is home to the largest share of college educated residents.

Adults in Boise do not need to travel far for a college education. There are some 21 colleges and universities across the metro area, by far the greatest concentration of any metro area in Idaho.

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13. Illinois
> Most educated city: Champaign-Urbana
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 42.3%
> Median household income: $50,564
> Unemployment rate: 4.2%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 5

Champaign-Urbana is Illinois’ most educated city as 42.3% of its adult residents have earned a four-year degree. It narrowly beat out last year’s top ranked city, Bloomington, which finished one spot behind Champaign-Urbana with a 42.2% bachelor’s degree attainment rate.

Champaign-Urbana is home to the University of Illinois. The state’s flagship university has more than 47,000 students enrolled. College educated adults are less likely to face serious financial difficulties and Urbana-Champaign has the lowest food stamp or SNAP benefit recipiency rate among all of Illinois’ metro areas.

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14. Indiana
> Most educated city: Bloomington
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 38.9%
> Median household income: $43,693
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 2

Though Bloomington has only two postsecondary educational institutions — far fewer than is typical among metro areas on this list — one of the area’s schools is among the largest in the country. The University of Indiana Bloomington enrolls nearly 50,000 students total.

More education usually leads to higher income and less poverty, but that is not the case in Bloomington, which has one of the lowest median household incomes of Indiana’s metro areas. At $43,693 a year, Bloomington’s median household income is well below the state median of $52,314. Bloomington also has the highest poverty rate in the state. Some 23.7% of Bloomington’s residents live in poverty, compared to 14.1% of Indiana residents as a whole.

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15. Iowa
> Most educated city: Ames
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 54.8%
> Median household income: $53,371
> Unemployment rate: 2.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 2

Ames, Iowa is one of only a handful of metro areas nationwide where over half of all adults 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some 54.8% of adults in the metro area have earned a four-year college degree, the largest share of any metro area in the state and the second highest nationwide.

The high educational attainment rate in Ames is likely bolstered by the presence of Iowa State University, one of the largest postsecondary institutions in the state. Tuition for in state residents is less than half the amount students from out of state pay.