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The most educated county in every state

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fongbeerredhot // Shutterstock

The most educated county in every state

The great American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Dewey was heavily invested in a school of thought known as pragmatism, which addresses the importance of learning academic concepts by way of experiencing them firsthand as opposed to hearing and repeating various things said in a classroom. While this is still a philosophy used by many, especially those working in fields where the value of one's work experience exceeds that of their academic background, many people take a great deal of pride in their formal educations, not only because of the many valuable skills gained, but also because of the immense amount of work that went into earning their particular degrees.

To help understand areas with the highest educational attainment, Stacker used data from the 2013–2017 American Community Survey to construct a weighted index which measures the relative education level for every county in the United States. This index evaluates each county's over-25 population across seven educational tiers, ranging from individuals not educated past 8th grade to those with graduate or professional degrees. For each segment of these tiers; a points-based indexing system was applied in direct proportion to the estimated years of schooling for each level of educational attainment. Lastly, the full range of index scores was normalized to a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 representing the most educated county in the United States.

The county in each state with the highest weighted index is included in the story—read on to see where people in each state go to school the longest on average.

You may also like: The least educated county in every state

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikipedia

Alabama: Shelby County

- Education index: 87.82
- Less than high school: 2.5%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 20.9%
- Some college, no degree: 21.7%
- Associate's degree: 7.2%
- Bachelor's degree: 27.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 14.4%
- Rank among all counties: #138 / 3,142

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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

Alaska: Denali Borough

- Education index: 89.06
- Less than high school: 0.4%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 0.9%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 28.6%
- Some college, no degree: 21.1%
- Associate's degree: 4.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 30.4%
- Graduate or professional degree: 14.1%
- Rank among all counties: #87 / 3,142

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Coconino County

- Education index: 86.10
- Less than high school: 4.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 21.3%
- Some college, no degree: 23.6%
- Associate's degree: 9.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 21.0%
- Graduate or professional degree: 14.5%
- Rank among all counties: #252 / 3,142

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Ualrcomm // Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: Pulaski County

- Education index: 85.16
- Less than high school: 3.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.4%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 26.5%
- Some college, no degree: 23.7%
- Associate's degree: 6.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 20.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.8%
- Rank among all counties: #351 / 3,142

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Mr. Granger // Wikimedia Commons

California: Marin County

- Education index: 92.50
- Less than high school: 3.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.0%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 11.2%
- Some college, no degree: 18.1%
- Associate's degree: 6.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 32.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 25.0%
- Rank among all counties: #15 / 3,142

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Bildungsroman // Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: Boulder County

- Education index: 93.76
- Less than high school: 2.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 12.4%
- Some college, no degree: 15.6%
- Associate's degree: 6.2%
- Bachelor's degree: 32.6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 27.8%
- Rank among all counties: #5 / 3,142

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Stagophile // Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Fairfield County

- Education index: 88.28
- Less than high school: 5.5%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.1%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22.0%
- Some college, no degree: 14.9%
- Associate's degree: 6.1%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.6%
- Rank among all counties: #112 / 3,142

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Parkpay2000 // Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: New Castle County

- Education index: 85.83
- Less than high school: 3.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.0%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 29.7%
- Some college, no degree: 18.7%
- Associate's degree: 6.9%
- Bachelor's degree: 20.6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.1%
- Rank among all counties: #285 / 3,142

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Porkn305 // Wikimedia Commons

Florida: Leon County

- Education index: 89.58
- Less than high school: 2.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.7%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 18.6%
- Some college, no degree: 19.5%
- Associate's degree: 9.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.9%
- Rank among all counties: #73 / 3,142

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ZachJBeavers // Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Oconee County

- Education index: 90.75
- Less than high school: 1.5%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.1%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 21.0%
- Some college, no degree: 17.8%
- Associate's degree: 7.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 23.0%
- Graduate or professional degree: 25.2%
- Rank among all counties: #43 / 3,142

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LittleT889 // Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii: Honolulu County

- Education index: 85.49
- Less than high school: 4.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 26.2%
- Some college, no degree: 20.8%
- Associate's degree: 10.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 22.4%
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.6%
- Rank among all counties: #315 / 3,142

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Max7 // Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: Latah County

- Education index: 90.41
- Less than high school: 1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.8%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 19%
- Some college, no degree: 22.3%
- Associate's degree: 8.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 26.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.6%
- Rank among all counties: #47 / 3,142

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Raymond Cunningham // Flickr

Illinois: Champaign County

- Education index: 89.66
- Less than high school: 1.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.3%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22%
- Some college, no degree: 20.8%
- Associate's degree: 8.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 22%
- Graduate or professional degree: 21.9%
- Rank among all counties: #69 / 3,142

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Derek Jensen // Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: Hamilton County

- Education index: 92.62
- Less than high school: 1.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.7%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 15.2%
- Some college, no degree: 17%
- Associate's degree: 6.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 36.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.7%
- Rank among all counties: #14 / 3,142

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Vkulikov // Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Johnson County

- Education index: 91.94
- Less than high school: 2.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.3%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 16.4%
- Some college, no degree: 17.5%
- Associate's degree: 8.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 28.2%
- Graduate or professional degree: 24.5%
- Rank among all counties: #23 / 3,142

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Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Johnson County

- Education index: 92.15
- Less than high school: 1.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.6%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 14.5%
- Some college, no degree: 19.1%
- Associate's degree: 7.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 34.1%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.6%
- Rank among all counties: #22 / 3,142

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W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky: Oldham County

- Education index: 87.90
- Less than high school: 2.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.3%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22.7%
- Some college, no degree: 22.7%
- Associate's degree: 7.8%
- Bachelor's degree: 24.4%
- Graduate or professional degree: 16%
- Rank among all counties: #132 / 3,142

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Dylan Dewenter // Wikipedia

Louisiana: Lincoln Parish

- Education index: 85.31
- Less than high school: 3.3%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 26.8%
- Some college, no degree: 19.7%
- Associate's degree: 5.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 21%
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.1%
- Rank among all counties: #328 / 3,142

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

Maine: Cumberland County

- Education index: 89.23
- Less than high school: 1.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 23.0%
- Some college, no degree: 17.5%
- Associate's degree: 9.2%
- Bachelor's degree: 28.2%
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.9%
- Rank among all counties: #82 / 3,142

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Flugkerl2 // Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: Howard County

- Education index: 94.29
- Less than high school: 2.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.6%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 14%
- Some college, no degree: 14.4%
- Associate's degree: 5.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 30.1%
- Graduate or professional degree: 31.1%
- Rank among all counties: #4 / 3,142

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Thermos // Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts: Middlesex County

- Education index: 91.51
- Less than high school: 3.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.6%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 20.1%
- Some college, no degree: 12.6%
- Associate's degree: 6%
- Bachelor's degree: 26.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 27.2%
- Rank among all counties: #29 / 3,142

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Jha4ceb at wts wikivoyage // Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Washtenaw County

- Education index: 92.80
- Less than high school: 1.5%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.4%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 15.3%
- Some college, no degree: 18.4%
- Associate's degree: 7%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.7%
- Graduate or professional degree: 28.7%
- Rank among all counties: #11 / 3,142

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: Carver County

- Education index: 89.81
- Less than high school: 1.7%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 19.6%
- Some college, no degree: 18%
- Associate's degree: 11.1%
- Bachelor's degree: 33.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.9%
- Rank among all counties: #66 / 3,142

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CapCase // Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi: Madison County

- Education index: 89.26
- Less than high school: 2.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.3%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 16.3%
- Some college, no degree: 19.9%
- Associate's degree: 8.2%
- Bachelor's degree: 27%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.5%
- Rank among all counties: #81 / 3,142

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Me5000 // Wikimedia Commons

Missouri: Boone County

- Education index: 89.37
- Less than high school: 2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.4%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 21%
- Some college, no degree: 19.5%
- Associate's degree: 7.1%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20%
- Rank among all counties: #79 / 3,142

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Tim Evanson // Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Gallatin County

- Education index: 90.42
- Less than high school: 1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 18.9%
- Some college, no degree: 22.8%
- Associate's degree: 6.3%
- Bachelor's degree: 31.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 17%
- Rank among all counties: #46 / 3,142

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska: Sarpy County

- Education index: 87.95
- Less than high school: 1.7%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.1%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 21.3%
- Some college, no degree: 24.7%
- Associate's degree: 9.7%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.7%
- Rank among all counties: #130 / 3,142

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

Nevada: Douglas County

- Education index: 84.73
- Less than high school: 2.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.9%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 24.8%
- Some college, no degree: 30.8%
- Associate's degree: 10.8%
- Bachelor's degree: 17.0%
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.2%
- Rank among all counties: #413 / 3,142

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Rockingham County

- Education index: 88.14
- Less than high school: 1.4%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 25.4%
- Some college, no degree: 18.9%
- Associate's degree: 10.2%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.4%
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.2%
- Rank among all counties: #122 / 3,142

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Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey: Somerset County

- Education index: 91.24
- Less than high school: 2.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 21.1%
- Some college, no degree: 14%
- Associate's degree: 6.1%
- Bachelor's degree: 28.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 24.2%
- Rank among all counties: #32 / 3,142

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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Los Alamos County

- Education index: 97.45
- Less than high school: 0.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 1.4%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 10%
- Some college, no degree: 12.9%
- Associate's degree: 9.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.2%
- Graduate or professional degree: 40.3%
- Rank among all counties: #3 / 3,142

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sach1tb // Wikimedia Commons

New York: Tompkins County

- Education index: 92.38
- Less than high school: 1.3%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 19.9%
- Some college, no degree: 12.6%
- Associate's degree: 9.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 22.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 29.8%
- Rank among all counties: #17 / 3,142

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Ildar Sagdejev // Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Orange County

- Education index: 93.06
- Less than high school: 3.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.6%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 15.2%
- Some college, no degree: 13.9%
- Associate's degree: 6%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.8%
- Graduate or professional degree: 31.8%
- Rank among all counties: #9 / 3,142

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Ndstate // Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota: Cass County

- Education index: 87.54
- Less than high school: 2.4%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 20.2%
- Some college, no degree: 21.1%
- Associate's degree: 14.8%
- Bachelor's degree: 27.3%
- Graduate or professional degree: 11%
- Rank among all counties: #155 / 3,142

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Delaware County

- Education index: 91.73
- Less than high school: 0.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 19.4%
- Some college, no degree: 16.9%
- Associate's degree: 6.7%
- Bachelor's degree: 34.4%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.4%
- Rank among all counties: #24 / 3,142

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Keith8404 // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: Payne County

- Education index: 86.34
- Less than high school: 2.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.9%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 26.8%
- Some college, no degree: 21.7%
- Associate's degree: 6%
- Bachelor's degree: 20.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.3%
- Rank among all counties: #230 / 3,142

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Gregkeene // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: Benton County

- Education index: 92.30
- Less than high school: 1.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.9%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 13.9%
- Some college, no degree: 19.9%
- Associate's degree: 7.9%
- Bachelor's degree: 29%
- Graduate or professional degree: 24.7%
- Rank among all counties: #20 / 3,142

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Montgomery County Planning Commission // Flickr

Pennsylvania: Montgomery County

- Education index: 90.11
- Less than high school: 2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.9%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 24.1%
- Some college, no degree: 15%
- Associate's degree: 6.9%
- Bachelor's degree: 27%
- Graduate or professional degree: 21.3%
- Rank among all counties: #59 / 3,142

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Tnricci // Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Washington County

- Education index: 89.39
- Less than high school: 1.7%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.4%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22.9%
- Some college, no degree: 17.2%
- Associate's degree: 8.9%
- Bachelor's degree: 25.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.5%
- Rank among all counties: #78 / 3,142

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Dfscgt21 // Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina: Beaufort County

- Education index: 87.67
- Less than high school: 2.5%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.8%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22.3%
- Some college, no degree: 21.8%
- Associate's degree: 8.7%
- Bachelor's degree: 23.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.4%
- Rank among all counties: #148 / 3,142

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Jack Boucher // Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: Clay County

- Education index: 90.41
- Less than high school: 1.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 22.4%
- Some college, no degree: 16.8%
- Associate's degree: 6.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 27.1%
- Graduate or professional degree: 22.1%
- Rank among all counties: #48 / 3,142

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Omorefranklin // Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Williamson County

- Education index: 92.64
- Less than high school: 1.8%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.7%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 14.4%
- Some college, no degree: 16.7%
- Associate's degree: 6.3%
- Bachelor's degree: 36.7%
- Graduate or professional degree: 21.4%
- Rank among all counties: #13 / 3,142

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EMBaero // Wikipedia

Texas: Collin County

- Education index: 90.34
- Less than high school: 3.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.1%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 15.1%
- Some college, no degree: 20.1%
- Associate's degree: 7.5%
- Bachelor's degree: 32.7%
- Graduate or professional degree: 18.2%
- Rank among all counties: #50 / 3,142

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Ken Lund // Wikimedia Commons

Utah: Summit County

- Education index: 91.12
- Less than high school: 3.4%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.8%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 14.5%
- Some college, no degree: 19.1%
- Associate's degree: 6.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 32.7%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.8%
- Rank among all counties: #36 / 3,142

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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

Vermont: Chittenden County

- Education index: 90.33
- Less than high school: 2.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.8%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 20%
- Some college, no degree: 15.9%
- Associate's degree: 8.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 29%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.6%
- Rank among all counties: #51 / 3,142

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: Falls Church

- Education index: 100
- Less than high school: 0.2%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 1.6%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 7.3%
- Some college, no degree: 8.5%
- Associate's degree: 4.3%
- Bachelor's degree: 35.6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 42.5%
- Rank among all counties: #1 / 3,142

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Yassie // Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Whitman County

- Education index: 91.18
- Less than high school: 1.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 3.5%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 17.1%
- Some college, no degree: 19.9%
- Associate's degree: 9.9%
- Bachelor's degree: 24.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 23.9%
- Rank among all counties: #34 / 3,142

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Tom Long // Flickr

West Virginia: Monongalia County

- Education index: 87.20
- Less than high school: 2.1%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.1%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 29.2%
- Some college, no degree: 17.1%
- Associate's degree: 5.6%
- Bachelor's degree: 20.5%
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.3%
- Rank among all counties: #177 / 3,142

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Czar // Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin: Dane County

- Education index: 90.99
- Less than high school: 1.7%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.8%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 17.9%
- Some college, no degree: 17.6%
- Associate's degree: 10%
- Bachelor's degree: 29.9%
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.1%
- Rank among all counties: #37 / 3,142

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Nategg23 // Wikipedia

Wyoming: Albany County

- Education index: 91.28
- Less than high school: 1.6%
- 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 2.2%
- High school graduate or equivalent: 16.1%
- Some college, no degree: 21.9%
- Associate's degree: 8.4%
- Bachelor's degree: 28.3%
- Graduate or professional degree: 21.5%
- Rank among all counties: #30 / 3,142

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