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The most educated county in every state

The most educated county in every state
1/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

Alabama: Shelby County
2/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

Alaska: Denali Borough
3/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

Arizona: Coconino County
4/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

Arkansas: Pulaski County
5/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

California: Marin County
6/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

Colorado: Boulder County
7/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

Connecticut: Fairfield County
8/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

Delaware: New Castle County
9/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

Florida: Leon County
10/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

Georgia: Oconee County
11/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

Hawaii: Honolulu County
12/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

Idaho: Latah County
13/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

Illinois: Champaign County
14/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

Indiana: Hamilton County
15/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

Iowa: Johnson County
16/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

Kansas: Johnson County
17/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

Kentucky: Oldham County
18/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

Louisiana: Lincoln Parish
19/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

Maine: Cumberland County
20/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

Maryland: Howard County
21/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

Massachusetts: Middlesex County
22/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

Michigan: Washtenaw County
23/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

Minnesota: Carver County
24/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

Mississippi: Madison County
25/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

Missouri: Boone County
26/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

Montana: Gallatin County
27/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

Nebraska: Sarpy County
28/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

Nevada: Douglas County
29/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

New Hampshire: Rockingham County
30/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

New Jersey: Somerset County
31/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

New Mexico: Los Alamos County
32/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

New York: Tompkins County
33/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

North Carolina: Orange County
34/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

North Dakota: Cass County
35/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

Ohio: Delaware County
36/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

Oklahoma: Payne County
37/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

Oregon: Benton County
38/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

Pennsylvania: Montgomery County
39/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

Rhode Island: Washington County
40/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

South Carolina: Beaufort County
41/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

South Dakota: Clay County
42/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

Tennessee: Williamson County
43/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

Texas: Collin County
44/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

Utah: Summit County
45/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

Vermont: Chittenden County
46/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

Virginia: Falls Church
47/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

Washington: Whitman County
48/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

West Virginia: Monongalia County
49/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

Wisconsin: Dane County
50/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

Wyoming: Albany County
51/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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