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Counties with the best public schools

  • Joe Mabel // Wikicommons
    1/ Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

    Counties with the best public schools in every state

    Everyone stresses the importance of receiving a good education from a young age. Oftentimes, the quality of the schools in the area is a significant factor to consider when a family chooses to move to a new place. Because the prices for private school tuition keep rising, many families tend to enroll their kids in a public school. Certain public schools are better than others; however, certain counties have better public schools to choose from.

    In order to alleviate some of the stress of choosing a new location to settle down in, Stacker looked at data from Niche’s 2018 Counties with the Best Public Schools in America list to determine which county in every state has the best public schools. Niche used a combination of graduation rates, standardized and state test scores, quality of teachers, and reviews from parents and students to rank each public school in a county and then aggregated those rankings to give a final ranking for each county. Niche’s full methodology can be found here.

    Stacker compiled a list of 50 counties—one from every state in alphabetical order—with at least 10,000 residents. Included in the list besides a grade for public schools are the county’s population, as well as grades for cost of living, diversity, crime and safety in the area, outdoor activities, commuting, and an overall Niche grade.

    Finding the best quality of education can be a tedious task; Stacker is here to help you alleviate some of that stress with our analysis. 

  • Kevin Dooley // Flickr
    2/ Kevin Dooley // Flickr

    Wyoming: Sheridan County

    Population: 29,924
    Overall Niche grade: A-
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A

  • GoodFreePhotos
    3/ GoodFreePhotos

    Wisconsin: Ozaukee County

    Population: 87,625
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B

  • Ryan Stanton // Flickr
    4/ Ryan Stanton // Flickr

    West Virginia: Ohio County

    Population: 43,257
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: A-
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A-

  • Joe Mabel // Wikicommons
    5/ Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

    Washington: King County

    Population: 2,079,550
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: D
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: C
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Wikipedia
    6/ Wikipedia

    Virginia: Loudoun County

    Population: 362,435
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: C+

  • Beyond My Ken // Wikicommons
    7/ Beyond My Ken // Wikicommons

    Vermont: Chittenden County

    Population: 160,510
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: A-

  • Tricia Simpson // Wikicommons
    8/ Tricia Simpson // Wikicommons

    Utah: Summit County

    Population: 39,009
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: D+
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: A+
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B+

  • Patrick Feller // Flickr
    9/ Patrick Feller // Flickr

    Texas: Collin County

    Population: 886,633
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Commute grade: C+

  • Concord715 // Wikicommons
    10/ Concord715 // Wikicommons

    Tennessee: Williamson County

    Population: 205,645
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: C+

  • Jon Platek // Wikicommons
    11/ Jon Platek // Wikicommons

    South Dakota: Brookings County

    Population: 33,435
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A-
    Cost of living grade: B+
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A

  • Connor401 // Wikicommons
    12/ Connor401 // Wikicommons

    South Carolina: York County

    Population: 245,606
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B-

  • Marcbela // Wikicommons
    13/ Marcbela // Wikicommons

    Rhode Island: Bristol County

    Population: 49,228
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: A-
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Wikipedia
    14/ Wikipedia

    Pennsylvania: Montgomery County

    Population: 815,876
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Joe Mabel // Wikicommons
    15/ Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

    Oregon: Benton County

    Population: 87,455
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: A

  • Keith8404 // Wikicommons
    16/ Keith8404 // Wikicommons

    Oklahoma: Payne County

    Population: 79,953
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: N/A
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: C
    Commute grade: A

  • Ron Reiring // Wikicommons
    17/ Ron Reiring // Wikicommons

    Ohio: Delaware County

    Population: 188,996
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: C+

  • Wikipedia
    18/ Wikipedia

    North Dakota: Grand Forks County

    Population: 69,793
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Commute grade: A

  • James Willamor // Wikicommons
    19/ James Willamor // Wikicommons

    North Carolina: Orange County

    Population: 139,807
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A-

  • Steve Carrea // Wikicommons
    20/ Steve Carrea // Wikicommons

    New York: Westchester County

    Population: 969,229
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: D-
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B-

  • AllenS // Wikicommons
    21/ AllenS // Wikicommons

    New Mexico: Los Alamos County

    Population: 17,895
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: A-
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: A+

  • Lalmeister // Wikicommons
    22/ Lalmeister // Wikicommons

    New Jersey: Morris County

    Population: 498,215
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: D+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B-

  • Doug Kerr // Flickr
    23/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    New Hampshire : Grafton County

    Population: 89,164
    Overall Niche grade: A-
    Public schools grade: A-
    Cost of living grade: C
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: A-

  • Ken Lund // Wikicommons
    24/ Ken Lund // Wikicommons

    Nevada: Douglas County

    Population: 47,426
    Overall Niche grade: B+
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: N/A
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Hanyou23 // Wikicommons
    25/ Hanyou23 // Wikicommons

    Nebraska: Lancaster County

    Population: 301,707
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A

  • Prizrak 2084 // Wikicommons
    26/ Prizrak 2084 // Wikicommons

    Montana: Missoula County

    Population: 113,101
    Overall Niche grade: A-
    Public schools grade: B+
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A

  • Mwkruse // Wikicommons
    27/ Mwkruse // Wikicommons

    Missouri: Platte County

    Population: 94,970
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: B

  • BobCummings // Wikicommons
    28/ BobCummings // Wikicommons

    Mississippi: Lafayette County

    Population: 52,193
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: A

  • Dwight Burdette // Wikicommons
    29/ Dwight Burdette // Wikicommons

    Minnesota: Carver County

    Population: 97,143
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Traveler100 // Wikicommons
    30/ Traveler100 // Wikicommons

    Michigan: Washtenaw County

    Population: 358,082
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: A-

  • John Phelan // Wikicommons
    31/ John Phelan // Wikicommons

    Massachusetts: Norfolk County

    Population: 691,218
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B-

  • Author Mike Haw from Hyattsville, MD, USA // Wikicommons
    32/ Author Mike Haw from Hyattsville, MD, USA // Wikicommons

    Maryland: Howard County

    Population: 308,447
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: N/A
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: C+

  • Lee Coursey // Wikicommons
    33/ Lee Coursey // Wikicommons

    Maine: Hancock County

    Population: 54,483
    Overall Niche grade: B+
    Public schools grade: A-
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: C
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B+

  • Spatms // Wikicommons
    34/ Spatms // Wikicommons

    Louisiana: St. Charles Parish

    Population: 52,708
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: N/A
    Outdoor activities grade: B
    Commute grade: C+

  • Nyttend // Wikicommons
    35/ Nyttend // Wikicommons

    Kentucky: Calloway County

    Population: 38,302
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B+
    Diversity grade: C+
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: B
    Commute grade: A

  • Ichabod // Wikicommons
    36/ Ichabod // Wikicommons

    Kansas: Johnson County

    Population: 572,428
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B

  • Ashton B Crew // Wikicommons
    37/ Ashton B Crew // Wikicommons

    Iowa: Story County

    Population: 94,834
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B-
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Commute grade: A

  • Carmel,Indiana // Wikicommons
    38/ Carmel,Indiana // Wikicommons

    Indiana: Hamilton County

    Population: 303,042
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: A-
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: B-

  • Kseferovic // Wikicommons
    39/ Kseferovic // Wikicommons

    Illinois: DuPage County

    Population: 930,514
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B-

  • Acroterion // Wikicommons
    40/ Acroterion // Wikicommons

    Idaho: Blaine County

    Population: 21,427
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A
    Cost of living grade: D+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B+
    Outdoor activities grade: B
    Commute grade: A

  • ErgoSum88 // Wikicommons
    41/ ErgoSum88 // Wikicommons

    Hawaii: Honolulu County

    Population: 986,999
    Overall Niche grade: B-
    Public schools grade: B-
    Cost of living grade: D-
    Diversity grade: N/A
    Crime & safety grade: N/A
    Outdoor activities grade: C
    Commute grade: B

  • Thomson200 // Wikicommons
    42/ Thomson200 // Wikicommons

    Georgia: Forsyth County

    Population: 203,841
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: C

  • Pixabay
    43/ Pixabay

    Florida: St. Johns County

    Population: 218,362
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: C+
    Diversity grade: B
    Crime & safety grade: C
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B-

  • JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikicommons
    44/ JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikicommons

    Delaware: Kent County

    Population: 171,474
    Overall Niche grade: B+
    Public schools grade: A-
    Cost of living grade: B-
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: C
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: B

  • Wikipedia
    45/ Wikipedia

    Connecticut: Fairfield County

    Population: 941,618
    Overall Niche grade: A
    Public schools grade: A-
    Cost of living grade: D
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: B

  • Hustvedt // Wikicommons
    46/ Hustvedt // Wikicommons

    Colorado: Boulder County

    Population: 313,961
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: D+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: A
    Commute grade: A-

  • Brocken Inaglory // Wikicommons
    47/ Brocken Inaglory // Wikicommons

    California: Marin County

    Population: 259,358
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: D-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B-
    Outdoor activities grade: A+
    Commute grade: B

  • Brandonrush // Wikicommons
    48/ Brandonrush // Wikicommons

    Arkansas: Benton County

    Population: 245,231
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Crime & safety grade: B
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: B+

  • Tony the Marine // Wikicommons
    49/ Tony the Marine // Wikicommons

    Arizona: Maricopa County

    Population: 4,088,549
    Overall Niche grade: A-
    Public schools grade: B
    Cost of living grade: C-
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: A-
    Commute grade: B

  • Scott McMurren // Wikicommons
    50/ Scott McMurren // Wikicommons

    Alaska: Kenai Peninsula Borough

    Population: 57,637
    Overall Niche grade: B
    Public schools grade: B
    Cost of living grade: C
    Diversity grade: N/A
    Crime & safety grade: C+
    Outdoor activities grade: B-
    Commute grade: A-

  • Brandonrush // Wikicommons
    51/ Brandonrush // Wikicommons

    Alabama: Madison County

    Population: 349,973
    Overall Niche grade: A+
    Public schools grade: A+
    Cost of living grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A
    Crime & safety grade: C
    Outdoor activities grade: B+
    Commute grade: B

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