Higher education still has long lasting positive effects and despite political hostility towards “elites”, education remains a tool for upward mobility and eradicating a cycle of poverty in many households and communities.
With the focus on a new education secretary who is poised to start instituting reform in America’s schools, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Most & Least Educated States.
In order to determine where the most educated Americans live, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from “percentage of adults aged 25 and older with at least a high school diploma” to “average university quality” to “gender gap in educational attainment.”
|Most Educated States||Least Educated States|
|10||New Jersey||50||West Virginia|
- Massachusetts has the highest share of bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older, 40.5 percent, which is 2.1 times higher than in West Virginia, the state with the lowest at 19.1 percent.
- Massachusetts has the highest percentage of graduate- or professional-degree holders aged 25 and older, 17.7 percent, which is 2.4 times higher than in West Virginia, the state with the lowest at 7.4 percent.
- Maryland has the highest public-school system rating, 28.9 percent, which is 36.1 times higher than in Nebraska, 0.8 percent.
- North Dakota has the highest racial gap in educational attainment, with the share of blacks aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree at 29.41 percent and 22.18 percent for their white counterparts, a difference of 7.23 percent favoring blacks.
- The national average for blacks aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree is 12.77 percent and 19.88 percent for whites with the same attributes.
- North Dakota has the highest gender gap in educational attainment, with the share of women aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree at 22.22 percent and 17.96 percent for their male counterparts, a difference of 4.26 percent favoring women.
- The national average for women aged 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree is 18.68 percent and 18.35 percent for their males with the same attributes.
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