America’s Most and Least Educated States

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11. Washington
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 35.5%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $59,662 (7th highest)
> Median household income: $70,979 (10th highest)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.8% (tied — 12th highest)

In Washington state, 35.5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, far more than the national college attainment rate of 32.0%. College graduates are more likely to have high-paying jobs than those with less educational attainment, and across the United States, workers with a bachelor’s degree earn $21,860 more per year than those with a high school diploma. The median household income in Washington of $70,979 a year is the 10th highest of any state and far more than the national median household income of $60,336.

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12. Utah
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.6%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $47,092 (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $68,358 (13th highest)
> 2017 unemployment: 3.2% (tied — 8th lowest)

Those who have graduated from college are more likely to have high-paying jobs than those who have not. The share of adults in Utah who have at least a four-year college degree has increased considerably since 2013. In 2017, 34.6% of adults in the state had a bachelor’s degree, a 3.3 percentage point increase from 2013, the fourth largest increase nationwide over that period. The increase in the higher educational attainment among adults in Utah occurred simultaneously with an increase in median household income in the state. In 2013, the median household income was $62,813 a year. By 2017, that figure increased to $68,383.

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13. Illinois
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.4%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $56,643 (11th highest)
> Median household income: $62,992 (16th highest)
> 2017 unemployment: 5.0% (tied — 6th highest)

In Illinois, 34.4% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, more than the 32.0% national share. College-educated adults are far more likely to hold high-paying jobs than those with less educational attainment. Nationwide, workers with a college education earn approximately $22,000 more annually than workers with a high school education. In Illinois, the typical household earns $62,992 a year, more than the national median household income of $60,336 a year.

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14. Kansas
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.7%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $49,257 (21st lowest)
> Median household income: $56,422 (21st lowest)
> 2017 unemployment: 3.6% (15th lowest)

Over the past five years, the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree in Kansas has risen from 31.3% in 2013 to 33.7% in 2017. Individuals with higher educational attainment are more likely to have stable, high-paying jobs, and the rise in the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree in Kansas may have contributed to income growth in the state. From 2013 to 2017, the median annual household income in Kansas rose from $53,682 to $56,422. Despite the high college attainment rate and income growth, the median household income in the state is still below the national median of $60,336.

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15. Oregon
> Pct. of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.7%
> Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders: $48,567 (18th lowest)
> Median household income: $60,212 (20th highest)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.1% (tied — 22nd lowest)

Populations with higher educational attainment tend to have higher incomes, and this can be seen among workers in Oregon. An estimated 33.7% of adults in Oregon have a bachelor’s degree, up a full percentage point from 2016. This increase has likely contributed to the slight increase in the state’s median household income. The typical household in Oregon earns $60,212 a year, up from $58,742 in 2016 and roughly in line with the $60,336 national median household income. While incomes in Oregon are in line with the national figure, a larger share of residents depend on food stamps than in a majority of states. Some 15.4% of Oregon residents receive SNAP benefits, the fourth largest share nationwide