College Graduation

College enrollment peaked in 2011. Since then, it’s been going down and some believe that the reason is rapidly rising tuition costs. According to CNBC, college tuition has been rising “almost six percent above the rate of inflation.” This trend is nothing new, as tuition hikes have outpaced inflation for decades.

However, given current college enrollment rates, it’s clear that many still believe in the long-term value of higher education. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that an estimated 20.2 million students were enrolled in American colleges and universities as of fall 2015. Additionally, the benefits of higher education span further and wider than increased lifetime earnings.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that adults with higher levels of education tend to be more engaged in civic activities and feel greater life satisfaction. In a report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the analysts found a strong correlation between the educational levels of a state’s workforce and the median wages in that state, and suggested investing in education instead of lowering taxes or cutting costs to businesses to boost economic prosperity.

Though this may seem costly to the state initially, the EPI argues that creating a more educated workforce is a reliable investment. Those who have higher levels of education typically become high-earning citizens who contribute more in taxes over the course of their lifetimes.

FindTheHome wanted to pinpoint the most educated city in every state. We used 2014 estimates from the American Community Survey to find cities with the highest percentage of people holding bachelor’s degree or higher. Cities with a population above 25,000 were evaluated. Each city’s average per-capita income is also included for context.

Note: Education statistics from the American Community Survey reflect percentages of the population ages 25 and older.

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