Special Report

The Most Educated City in Every State

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Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.8% (state: 33.6%)
> Median household income: $87,470 (state: $83,102)
> 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 35.8% share of adults with bachelor’s degrees in the metro area is higher than the 33.6% share statewide. In Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, the bachelor’s degree attainment rate is just 27.7%.

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Idaho: Boise City
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 33.3% (state: 28.7%)
> Median household income: $66,466 (state: $60,999)
> Number of college and universities: 18

Of the six metro areas in Idaho, Boise City is the only one where as many as a third 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 more than $65,000 a year — a higher median income than statewide median but still slightly lower than the national median.

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Illinois: Bloomington
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 45.8% (state: 35.8%)
> Median household income: $68,784 (state: $69,187)
> Number of college and universities: 5

Bloomington is not only the most highly educated metro area in Illinois, but also one of the best educated in the country. Among Bloomington residents 25 and older, 45.8% have at least a bachelor’s degree — the 19th highest share of any metro area in the country and well above the 35.8% state bachelor’s degree attainment rate.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment levels. In Bloomington, however, the typical household earns $68,784, in line with the median income across the state of $69,187.

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Indiana: Bloomington
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41% (state: 26.9%)
> Median household income: $52,526 (state: $57,603)
> 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, 41.0% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, by far the largest share of the 12 metro areas in the state and well above the 26.9% share of adults across Indiana as a whole.

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Iowa: Iowa City
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 48.8% (state: 29.3%)
> Median household income: $63,761 (state: $61,691)
> Number of college and universities: 4

Nearly half of all Iowa City adults 25 and older, 48.8%, hold at least a bachelor’s degree. This is well above the 29.3% bachelor’s degree attainment rate in Iowa. Higher educational attainment is typically correlated with higher incomes and lower unemployment, and the same is true when comparing Iowa City to the state, though the difference is small.

The Iowa City median household income is just over $2,000 higher than the state median income, and the city’s unemployment rate of 6.0% is slightly lower than the state’s 6.6% unemployment rate.