Special Report

Most Educated City in Every State

A four-year college education comes with a host of benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical American worker with a bachelor’s degree earns about $26,000 more per year than a worker with just a high school diploma. Additionally, the 2019 jobless rate among those who have completed college was 2.2% — compared to the 3.7% unemployment rate among those with no education beyond high school. The advantages can extend beyond the financial benefits, as higher educational attainment is also linked with better health outcomes. 

Across the United States, 33.1% of the 25 and older population have a bachelor’s degree or higher. That share varies considerably from state to state and from city to city. 

Using bachelor’s degree attainment rates at the metropolitan area level from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most educated city in every state. Four states — Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — are home to only one metro area. In these cases, the city on this list ranks as the most educated by default. 

Major cities tend to have relatively high concentrations of college-educated residents. Not surprisingly, nearly every metro area on this list is home to a larger share of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree than the state as a whole. Because high incomes tend to correspond with higher levels of educational attainment, most metro areas on this list have a higher median household income than the state they are located in. Here is a look at the richest town in every state.

Under normal circumstances, cities with large college-educated populations are less likely to struggle with high unemployment. This year, however, the recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has sent unemployment soaring in cities across the country — including many with well-educated populations. Still, the majority of cities on this list had a lower jobless rate than their home state as a whole as recently as July 2020. These are the cities with the worst COVID-19 unemployment crisis right now.

Click here to see the most educated city in every state
Click here to read our methodology