Special Report

The Most Educated City in Every State

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.2% (state: 33.5%)
> Median household income: $84,423 (state: $80,212)
> July unemployment: 2.6% (state: 2.8%)
> Number of college and universities: 21

Of the two metro areas in Hawaii — Urban Honolulu and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina — Urban Honolulu is home to the largest share of college-educated adults. The 35.2% share of adults with bachelor’s degrees in the metro area is higher than the 33.5% share of adults with bachelor’s degrees statewide. Meanwhile, in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, the bachelor’s degree attainment rate is just 29.5%.

See all stories featuring: Hawaii

Source: Joecho-16 / Getty Images

Idaho: Boise City
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 32.1% (state: 27.7%)
> Median household income: $61,407 (state: $55,583)
> July unemployment: 2.7% (state: 2.9%)
> Number of college and universities: 18

Of the six metro areas in Idaho, Boise City is the only one where over 30% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Boise is also the only metro area in Idaho where the majority of households earn at least $60,000 a year — a higher median income than statewide but still slightly lower than the national median.

See all stories featuring: Idaho

Source: ghornephoto / Getty Images

Illinois: Bloomington
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 43.0% (state: 35.1%)
> Median household income: $64,822 (state: $65,030)
> July unemployment: 4.0% (state: 4.2%)
> Number of college and universities: 5

Bloomington is not just the best educated metro area in Illinois, but also one of the best educated in the country. Among Bloomington residents 25 and older, 43.0% have at least a bachelor’s degree — the 25th highest rate of any metro area in the country and well above the 35.1% state bachelor’s degree attainment rate.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment. In Bloomington however, the typical household earns $64,822, in line with the median income across the state as a whole.

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Indiana: Bloomington
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 42.6% (state: 27.1%)
> Median household income: $47,335 (state: $55,746)
> July unemployment: 3.5% (state: 3.4%)
> Number of college and universities: 2

Major research universities typically have large graduate student populations and employ highly educated instructors, and partially as a result, college towns often have relatively well-educated populations. Home to Indiana University, Bloomington is no exception. Of all metro area adults, 42.6% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, by far the largest share of the 12 metro areas in the state and well above the 27.1% share of adults across Indiana as a whole.

See all stories featuring: Indiana

Source: Wolterk / Getty Images

Iowa: Ames
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 50.7% (state: 29%)
> Median household income: $54,586 (state: $59,955)
> July unemployment: 1.6% (state: 2.5%)
> Number of college and universities: 2

Ames, Iowa, is one of just nine metro areas in the country in which more than half of adults 25 and older have a college degree. Ames is home to Iowa State University and its nearly 35,000 students, so the city has a constant supply of young college graduates entering the workforce.

This level of education means there is a highly qualified labor pool in Ames, which could help explain the metro area’s very low unemployment rate of 1.6% — well below the state rate of 2.5% and the national rate of 3.7%.

See all stories featuring: Iowa