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: Bloomington
> Pct. of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 38.9%
> Median household income: $43,693
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Number of postsecondary institutions: 2
Though Bloomington has only two postsecondary educational institutions — far fewer than is typical among metro areas on this list — one of the area’s schools is among the largest in the country. The University of Indiana Bloomington enrolls nearly 50,000 students total.
More education usually leads to higher income and less poverty, but that is not the case in Bloomington, which has one of the lowest median household incomes of Indiana’s metro areas. At $43,693 a year, Bloomington’s median household income is well below the state median of $52,314. Bloomington also has the highest poverty rate in the state. Some 23.7% of Bloomington’s residents live in poverty, compared to 14.1% of Indiana residents as a whole.
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.