Most Educated State in the US

The United States Census has some interesting facts on the education rates of each state. The chart below shows the percentage of adults over 25 years of age who have at least a bachelors degree. The top position goes to the District of Columbia, but since it is such a small area, it probably isn’t really fair to compare it with the other states. If we don’t count D.C. then the most educated state is Massachusetts where you stand a 36% chance that anyone you happen to meet has graduated with a four year degree.


I was surprised to see that Kansas (30%) is so high in the list. Having lived in Kansas and now in Michigan, I expected Michigan to be higher than Kansas. But Michigan is only at 24%. This seemed odd to me until I realised that until recently most of the non-engineering jobs in Michigan were in factories making cars or furniture. Adults who didn’t go to college are less likely to encourage their kids to go. Unfortunately many of the people who worked in factories have been laid off in the past few years and many of them are having a very difficult time finding other work. While a college education doesn’t guarantee you a job, it is sure a good thing to have when there are 200 people applying for each open position.

I’m still not sure why Kansas is so high on the list. I would guess that the past few generations of farmers tried to send their kids to college because they realized that family farms weren’t going to continue to be profitable. I don’t know if this is what actually happened because it seems Michigan would have done the same thing, but I guess downturn in farming started many years before what is currently impacting Michigan factory workers.

District of Columbia 45.7
Massachusetts 36.7
Colorado 35.5
New Hampshire 35.4
Maryland 35.2
New Jersey 34.6
Connecticut 34.5
Vermont 34.2
Virginia 33.1
Minnesota 32.5
California 31.7
Utah 30.8
New York 30.6
Kansas 30.0
Washington 29.9
Missouri 28.1
Arizona 28.0
Georgia 27.6
Illinois 27.4
Rhode Island 27.2
Delaware 26.9
Hawaii 26.6
Florida 26.0
Oregon 25.9
Wisconsin 25.6
Alaska 25.5
Montana 25.5
South Dakota 25.5
Pennsylvania 25.3
North Dakota 25.2
New Mexico 25.1
South Carolina 24.9
Nebraska 24.8
Ohio 24.6
Nevada 24.5
Texas 24.5
Michigan 24.4
Iowa 24.3
Tennessee 24.3
Maine 24.2
Idaho 23.8
North Carolina 23.4
Oklahoma 22.9
Wyoming 22.5
Louisiana 22.4
Alabama 22.3
Indiana 21.1
Kentucky 21.0
Mississippi 20.1
Arkansas 18.8
West Virginia 15.3

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3 Replies to “Most Educated State in the US”

  1. I wonder how much this has changed. From NC here, low on the list although we have Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC. Although Wake and Duke are small and mostly out of state.

  2. your a *****. why do you think kansas should be at the bottom. its not farming dumb***. farmers dont send there kids to college. i can tell you havnt lived in kansas. go to wichita dumb **** its aircraft manufacturing.

    1. Actually I’ve lived in Kansas most of my life. I didn’t say that I thought it should be bottom of the list. I was just surprised it was almost the same as New York and higher than Delaware.

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