What are the most educated counties in the US?

April 15, 2016

(This article was first published on R – Decision Science News, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)



People ask us “what are the most educated counties in the USA”? It turns out the census keeps track of this sort of thing. We found a table called ACS_14_1YR_S1501.csv in the American Community Survey; look for stuff on educational attainment by county. And it was an easy bit of R to get the answers. We computed two things:


  • The percentage of the 25 and older population with a graduate or professional degree
  • The percentage of the population (of any age) with a bachelor’s degree or higher

Here’s how it came out:

Top US counties by percentage of people 25 and up with graduate or professional degrees in 2014:

Rank County % with graduate degree
1 Arlington County, Virginia 36.70
2 Alexandria city, Virginia 32.90
3 Montgomery County, Maryland 31.60
4 District of Columbia, District of Columbia 30.60
5 Howard County, Maryland 30.50
6 Fairfax County, Virginia 30.20
7 Orange County, North Carolina 30.00
8 New York County, New York 28.50
9 Tompkins County, New York 28.40
10 Washtenaw County, Michigan 28.30
11 Boulder County, Colorado 26.90
12 Story County, Iowa 26.00
13 Middlesex County, Massachusetts 25.70
14 Marin County, California 25.60
15 Albemarle County, Virginia 25.40
16 Benton County, Oregon 25.30
17 Monroe County, Indiana 25.20
18 Loudoun County, Virginia 24.80
19 Riley County, Kansas 23.90
20 Johnson County, Iowa 23.80
21 Westchester County, New York 23.60
22 Somerset County, New Jersey 23.50
23 James City County, Virginia 23.30
24 Norfolk County, Massachusetts 23.10
25 Santa Clara County, California 22.30

Top US counties by percentage of people with Bachelors degrees or higher in 2014:

Rank County % with Bachelors or higher
1 Arlington County, Virginia 71.50
2 Alexandria city, Virginia 62.80
3 Fairfax County, Virginia 60.30
4 Howard County, Maryland 59.90
5 New York County, New York 59.90
6 Loudoun County, Virginia 58.70
7 Montgomery County, Maryland 58.50
8 Boulder County, Colorado 58.00
9 Douglas County, Colorado 56.50
10 Hamilton County, Indiana 56.30
11 Williamson County, Tennessee 56.10
12 Marin County, California 55.20
13 District of Columbia, District of Columbia 55.00
14 Orange County, North Carolina 55.00
15 San Francisco County, California 54.20
16 Somerset County, New Jersey 53.70
17 Johnson County, Iowa 53.60
18 Benton County, Oregon 53.50
19 Washtenaw County, Michigan 53.00
20 Morris County, New Jersey 53.00
21 Johnson County, Kansas 52.80
22 Tompkins County, New York 52.40
23 Middlesex County, Massachusetts 52.30
24 Delaware County, Ohio 52.20
25 Norfolk County, Massachusetts 51.90

R Code to follow along at home

Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/aQM3Z

The post What are the most educated counties in the US? appeared first on Decision Science News.

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