Special Report

The Least Educated ZIP Codes in the Country

Education may not mean everything for the lives of Americans, but it means a great deal. People with less than a high school education tend to have low-paying jobs and are more likely to live in poverty. And because of many interrelated factors, they are also more likely to report poorer health outcomes. Odds are that people who have a high school diploma do better across these metrics. People who have college degrees tend to do even better.

Education levels can be measured by geography — state, city, and ZIP code. The smaller the geographic area, the better lenses experts have to find specific problems. Nationwide, an estimated 32.1% of American adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. But across the U.S., there are ZIP codes where fewer than 5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The least educated ZIP code in America is 92233 in Calipatria, California.

Here are some details about the 92233 ZIP code:

> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 1.6%
> Adults with at least a high school diploma or equivalent: 61.3% — 219th lowest of 20,112 ZIP codes (tied)
> Median household income: $37,009 — 1,650th lowest of 20,099 ZIP codes
> Estimated unemployment rate 2015-2019: 20.3% — 62nd highest of 20,109 ZIP codes
> Population: 7,509

Using education data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the least educated ZIP code in the United States. These are the most educated metro areas in the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among adults with a four-year college education was 5.5% in 2020. Meanwhile, the jobless rate among those with no more than a high school diploma was 9.0%. This has been the case also long before the pandemic. In most of the ZIP codes on this list, the average five-year overall unemployment rate among 25 to 64 year olds is higher than the comparable national rate of 4.4%. These are the college majors with the lowest unemployment.

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. Similarly, in places with low educational attainment, incomes tend to be lower than average.

Click here to see the least educated cities in the country
Click here to read our detailed methodology