Top 10 Most Educated States Based on Degree Rates In The US Today
The Global Partnership for Education says that education leads to peace, equality between men and women, economic growth, and the end of poverty. On top of that, education is important for reaching the 17 Global Goals, which are meant to protect our planet, end extreme poverty, achieve sustainable development, and fight inequality and injustice by 2030.
Over 25 years old in the United States, 90% of people have a high school diploma and 34% have a Bachelor’s degree. In 2016–2017, the national budget for education was $1.3 trillion. Most of that money came from state and local governments.
Find out which US states have the best education systems by reading this article.
A higher number of people are going to college or university and graduating. Over the last ten years, the percentage of people with a graduate or professional degree has grown by 3.4%. During the same time period, the percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree has grown by almost the same amount.
That’s 31.4 million people, or 14% of Americans aged 25 and up, who have a graduate or professional degree. Washington, DC residents were more likely to hold a graduate degree as their highest educational attainment (37.8%) than fall under one of the following categories: Completed some college without a degree, completed some high school without a degree, or graduated high school/ received a GED. These groups together make up 33.7% of people who live in Washington, DC
The next three states, after Washington, DC, have the next highest percentage of residents with graduate or professional degrees.
READ MORE: Top 20+ U.S Universities with High Acceptance Rates for International Students
Which states have the largest share of high school graduates?
Almost 60 million American’s highest educational attainment was their high school diploma/ GED. West Virginia had the largest share of high school graduates as their maximum educational attainment level (39%), followed by Arkansas (34%), as of 2021.
About 16% of Californians never graduated high school nor received a GED — the highest rate of any state. Texas followed with 15.4% of residents never receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent.
READ MORE: Top 20 Best Universities For Social Mobility & Disadvantaged Students in the U.S
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 39%
The State of Washington, situated in the Pacific northwest, is the tenth most educated state in America. According to Census Bureau, about 39% of Washington’s population aged 25 and above hold a bachelor’s degree as their minimum qualification. The state also ranks as the 10th wealthiest state in the United States, with well over 230,000 millionaires.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 39.9%
New York is home to two Ivy League universities — Columbia and Cornell — and 21% of its adult population has earned a bachelor’s degree. Overall, about 47% of the state’s adult population has earned some type of college degree.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 41.8%
Virginia ranks as the seventh most educated state in America. It is located in the Mid-Atlantic and southern region of the US. Virginia Tech, which is ranked among the top 50 universities in the country for research, is situated in Blacksburg, Virginia. Other prominent institutions in the state include the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and James Madison University.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 42.1%
Connecticut is the third-most educated state with a score of 72.68. Connecticut ranks fourth for Educational Attainment and fifth for Quality of Education rank. Connecticut ranks fifth for the highest percentage of bachelor’s degree holders at 38.9% and third for the highest percentage of graduate or professional degree holders at 17.0%. Some of the most popular industries in Connecticut are digital media, bioscience, financial services, and insurance.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 40.2%
New Hampshire has the lowest poverty rate in the US. This can be attributed to how well the state ranks in educational attainment. 40.2% of its population aged 25 and above have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 48% of its youth aged between 18 and 24 hold a college or associate degree. You can read more about poverty levels in America in our article, 25 States with the Lowest Poverty Rates in America.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 42.5%
The state of Maryland is in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is home to some of the top universities in the world, including the John Hopkins University, founded in 1876, which was the first American university established on European research institution model. It is based in Baltimore, Maryland. 42.5% of the state’s population in the age group of 25 and above has completed a minimum of bachelor’s degree.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 44.4%
Vermont ranks on our list of the most educated states in America, based on the attainment of bachelor’s degree or higher. 44.4% of the population aged 25 and above have completed their higher education. Vermont had the same percentage as Colorado, but lost second spot to the latter on college education levels. The state is being consistently ranked and regarded as one of the nation’s most educated states for a number of years now.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 43.1%
New Jersey has the second highest percentage of bachelor’s degree-holders in the nation (25%). As the sixth most educated state, 48% of its adult population has some type of college degree. The state is home to Princeton University and Rutgers University.
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 46.6%
Massachusetts is the most educated state in the U.S., with a total score of 81.82. Massachusetts ranks first for Educational Attainment and third for Quality of Education. Home to MIT, Harvard, and other top institutions, Massachusetts has the highest percentage of bachelor’s degree holders at 43.7% of adults and graduate or professional degree holders at about 32.4%. Massachusetts also has the highest average university quality. Massachusetts residents’ high education levels allow them to perform in high-paying jobs, resulting in having one of the highest median household incomes in the country
Population aged 25 and above with bachelor’s degree or higher: 44.4%
Colorado’s Educational Attainment rank is second, with the highest percentage of associate’s degree holders or college-experienced adults and the second-highest percentage of bachelor’s degree holders. 39.4% of Colorado adults have at least a bachelor’s degree and 30.2% have an associate’s degree or some college experience. Unfortunately, Colorado lacks a little in Quality of Education, ranking 32nd overall and having the third-lowest average university quality.
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