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: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 50.1%
> Median household income: $110,040
> Unemployment rate: 3.7%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 32
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is the only metro area in California — and one of only eight nationwide — where over half of all adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. The high level of education is likely attributable to the kinds of jobs available in the area. Also known as Silicon Valley, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area is home to dozens of major technology companies, including Google, Facebook, and Apple. Jobs at such companies attract college-educated adults from around the country and also tend to be high paying. The typical household in the area earns $110,040 a year, the highest median income of any U.S. metro area.
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.