With the cost of college tuition at an all time high, some may wonder if it is even worth it to invest the time and money it takes to earn a four-year degree. In state tuition at a state school is, on average, more than five times as expensive as it was in 1990 — which could put a huge financial burden on students and their families.
Still, a college education can be incredibly beneficial. The right degree from a good school can lead to many more and higher paying job opportunities otherwise unavailable to less educated workers.
> Most educated city: Lexington-Fayette
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 37.2%
> Median household income: $53,769
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 19
Adults with a college degree are less susceptible to economic downturns and the threat of joblessness. With a 4.1% unemployment rate, Lexington-Fayette is the only metro area in Kentucky where the jobless rate falls below the comparable 4.4% U.S. figure. The highly educated population partially explains the area’s relatively strong economy. An estimated 37.2% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, the highest share of any metro area in the state and well above the comparable share of adults across Kentucky of 23.4%.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey to identify the most educated city in each state. Nationwide, 31.3% of American adults have earned a bachelor’s degree. However, college attainment rates vary greatly by state — from 42.7% of adults in Massachusetts to 20.8% in West Virginia. As a result, the best educated city in some states are home to a lower concentration of college educated adults than the U.S. as whole. In other cities on this list, over half of all adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.