2021’s Most, Least Educated States in America

With many students continuing their education remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing a correlation between higher education levels, higher income and lower unemployment rates, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s Most & Least Educated States in America.

For millions of Americans, a good education is the ticket to a better future — and generally better pay. College opens doors to more career opportunities, higher earnings and new social connections, among other benefits. according to Adam McCann. But how much schooling one receives also matters to some extent. Generally, the higher the level of education one completes, the higher their income potential and the lower their chances of unemployment become.

“All of the data about jobs and forecasts for the shifting nature of the world of work would indeed suggest that higher education will become an even more valuable asset in the future,” according to Patrick Akos, Professor at the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “However, I do think there is a place for career and technical education that may come from a 2-year degree – fulfilling jobs in industries (e.g., plumbing) that have declining numbers. So, it will take a collection of higher education, technical training, economic business incentives, recruitment strategies, social policy, and more for states to thrive economically. It seems common sense that better education would equate to a more robust workforce – so educational policy plays an important role as well.”

In order to determine the most educated states, WalletHub compared all 50 states across 18 metrics that examined the key factors of a well-educated population: educational attainment, school quality and achievement gaps between genders and races.

How educated is California? (1=Most; 25=Avg.):

  • 50th – % of High-School Diploma Holders
  • 22nd – % of Associate’s Degree Holders or College-Experienced Adults
  • 15th – % of Bachelor’s Degree Holders
  • 14th – % of Graduate- or Professional-Degree Holders
  • 2nd – Avg. University Quality
  • 9th – Racial Gap in Educational Attainment
  • 1st – Gender Gap in Educational Attainment

For the full report, click here.


Image Sources

  • Studying: Pixaby