Special Report

Most Educated County in Every State

The average cost of a college education in the United States is $35,720 a year — three times higher than it was two decades ago. While rising tuition costs are discouraging many Americans from enrolling, a college education is an investment that can increase access to career opportunities, improve job security, and increase earning potential. 

Nationwide, an estimated 32.1% of American adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Educational attainment rates vary considerably across the country, however, and in every state, there is at least one county or county equivalent where the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree is higher than the national average. 

Using education data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most educated county in every state. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among adults with a four-year college education was 5.5% 2020. Meanwhile, the jobless rate among those with no more than a high school diploma was 9.0%. In all but eight counties and county equivalents on this list, the five-year average unemployment rate is lower than the comparable jobless rate across the state as a whole. 

In addition to being better protected from unemployment, Americans with a bachelor’s degree also tend to have higher salaries. The average weekly wage for a college educated worker in the United States is about 67% higher than it is for those with no more than a high school diploma — and in places with well-educated populations, incomes also tend to be higher than average. In the vast majority of counties and county equivalents on this list, the typical household earns more in a year than the statewide median household income.

Click here to see the most educated county in every state.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.