Q. What percentage of 25-to-34-year-old residents of the USA hold a college degree?
A. 30.5% (34% for women and 27% for men).
But, as you’d expect, it varies wildly from place to place.
I’ve delved into the data on educational-attainment in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Here it is:
Scranton: Uneducated Backwater?
This discussion has been moved to its own post.
Least Educated Metro Areas
In the entire dataset of 953 Census-defined metropolitan and micropolitan areas, we find, at the bottom of the list, places where having a degree is rare indeed. Here are the bottom-20 for the entire USA.
Percent of 25-34-Year-Olds Holding a College Degree
|Okeechobee, FL Micro Area||7.2%||4.3%||11.6%|
|Forrest City, AR Micro Area||7.0%||4.7%||10.1%|
|Summerville, GA Micro Area||6.9%||7.3%||6.3%|
|Clewiston, FL Micro Area||6.6%||4.9%||10.3%|
|Arcadia, FL Micro Area||6.6%||3.5%||14.6%|
|Henderson, NC Micro Area||6.3%||4.3%||8.1%|
|Deming, NM Micro Area||6.2%||6.3%||6.2%|
|Dillon, SC Micro Area||6.2%||3.6%||8.5%|
|North Vernon, IN Micro Area||6.2%||4.7%||7.6%|
|The Villages, FL Micro Area||6.2%||4.4%||9.2%|
|La Follette, TN Micro Area||6.1%||6.2%||6.0%|
|Connersville, IN Micro Area||6.0%||5.2%||6.8%|
|Hereford, TX Micro Area||5.5%||4.2%||6.7%|
|Pecos, TX Micro Area||5.3%||5.8%||4.7%|
|Wauchula, FL Micro Area||5.0%||1.7%||11.9%|
|Pierre Part, LA Micro Area||4.8%||1.3%||8.3%|
|Pahrump, NV Micro Area||4.7%||2.2%||7.1%|
|Beeville, TX Micro Area||4.1%||2.7%||8.0%|
|Raymondville, TX Micro Area||2.6%||2.6%||2.6%|
|Tallulah, LA Micro Area||1.8%||1.1%||2.4%|
Down here at the bottom we get the extremes. I’m not sure why. Observe:
Lopsided Female-Male Ratios
In 92.4% of all metro areas, a higher share of young females than young males hold degrees. In the USA as a whole, it is 34% to 27%.
Down here at the bottom of the list, we find:
— Wauchula, Florida (Females: 11.9% Males: 1.7%), and
— Pierre Part, Louisiana (Females: 8.3%, Males: 1.3). The places with the second and third most-lopsided female-male college-education ratio.
— The place with the most-lopsided female-male degree ratio in the USA is Canon City, Colorado (#920/953 in overall degree-%): Females: 24.5%, Males: 3.3%. What could possibly explain this?
Places Where Young Males are More Educated than Young Females
— I wonder what is special about Summerville, Georgia and Pecos, Texas? They have noticeably-higher shares of young-male degree-holders than young-female degree-holders.
— In only 7.6% of all metro-/micro-areas in the USA, the % of young males with degrees is higher than the % of young females with degrees. But down here at the bottom of the list, it is reasonably common:
— In the bottom-50 (in terms of overall degree-holding-%), 11 metros [22%] have a higher male-% than female-%. Why would the most uneducated places be more likely to have more educated males than females?
–In the 100 most-populous metros in the USA (i.e. the long chart at the beginning of this post), there are only 2 that have a higher male-% than female-% in degree-holding: Ogden-Clearfield, Utah and Provo-Orem, Utah.