Special Report

The Most Educated City in Every State

Source: Thinkstock

21. Massachusetts
> Most educated city: Boston-Cambridge-Newton
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 46.9%
> Median household income: $82,380
> Unemployment rate: 3.6%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 134

Some 46.9% of adults in the Boston area have a bachelor’s degree, and there are certainly no shortage of institutions for them to continue their education. The area is home to 134 postsecondary institutions, including Boston University, Northeastern University, and Harvard University.

Median household income in Massachusetts is already one of the higher incomes among states at more than $75,000 a year, and the Boston area exceeds it with a median household income of $82,380 a year.

Source: Thinkstock

22. Michigan
> Most educated city: Ann Arbor
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 54.8%
> Median household income: $65,601
> Unemployment rate: 3.4%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 8

Ann Arbor ranks as the most educated city in MIchigan and the second most educated city in the United States. Most of the city’s adult residents, 54.8%, hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The area’s high education attainment is likely partly due to the fact that the University of Michigan is in Ann Arbor. The university had more than 44,000 students in the fall of 2016.

A large chunk of Ann Arbor’s educational skills are likely being put to use in state government. At 29.9%, the city has a larger percentage of its labor force working in state government than any other metro area in the country.

Source: Thinkstock

23. Minnesota
> Most educated city: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 40.5%
> Median household income: $73,231
> Unemployment rate: 3.5%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 88

The Twin Cities metro area is the only major urban area in Minnesota where over 40% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. Across Minnesota, only 34.8% of adults have a bachelor’s degree. Better educated populations tend to report higher incomes — and the population of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is no exception. The typical area household earns $73,231 a year, more than in any other metro area in the state and well above the median household income across Minnesota of $65,599.

Source: Thinkstock

24. Mississippi
> Most educated city: Jackson
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 29.9%
> Median household income: $50,632
> Unemployment rate: 4.6%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 22

With the exception of West Virginia, Mississippi is the least educated state in the country. Across Mississippi, only 21.8% of adults have earned a four-year college degree. Educational attainment rates are not uniform across the state, however. In Jackson, 29.9% of adults have earned a bachelor’s degree, the largest share of any metro area in the state, yet still slightly lower than the bachelor’s degree attainment rate nationwide of 31.3%.

Source: Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

25. Missouri
> Most educated city: Columbia
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 43.9%
> Median household income: $52,752
> Unemployment rate: 2.5%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 7

The University of Missouri, the state’s flagship university, is located in Columbia. So it is no surprise that Columbia’s adult population has a higher percentage of degree holders than anywhere else in the Show-Me State.

An estimated 43.9% of Columbia’s adult residents have graduated from college, a far greater share than the across the state. Only 28.5% of Missouri adults hold a degree. Columbia’s high educational attainment has likely contributed to its low unemployment rate of just 2.5% — one of the lowest of U.S. cities.

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