Wed, Nov 3, 2021 1:02 AM
By Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, The Center Square
College enrollment has declined steadily in the United States in recent years. With rising tuition costs and surging student debt, enrollment rates have fallen at an average of nearly 2% a year since 2010. While four years of higher education may not be for everyone, Americans without a bachelor's degree tend to be far more limited in their career opportunities, job security, and earning potential.
Nationwide, an estimated 32.1% of American adults 25 and older have a bachelor's degree or higher. Educational attainment rates vary considerably across the country, however, and in nearly every state, there is at least one city where the share of adults with a bachelor's degree is well below the national average.
Using education data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the least educated city in every state.
In Hawaii, no city or town with a population of 25,000 or more has a lower bachelor's degree attainment rate than Waipahu. Only 17.1% of the adult population in Waipahu have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 33.0% of adults across the state as a whole.
All cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and census-designated places with over 25,000 people were considered for this story. All data used are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey. This is the least educated city in every state.
StateLeast educated cityAdults in state with a bachelor's degree (%)Adults in city with a bachelor's degree (%)AlabamaBessemer25.514.4AlaskaFairbanks29.627.2ArizonaSan Luis29.58.4ArkansasParagould23.018.4CaliforniaBell Gardens33.95.4ColoradoPueblo40.918.9ConnecticutWaterbury39.315.7DelawareDover32.026.3FloridaWest Little River29.910.7GeorgiaLaGrange31.318.5HawaiiWaipahu33.017.1IdahoCaldwell27.613.7IllinoisCicero34.79.0IndianaEast Chicago26.59.1IowaClinton28.617.5KansasDodge City33.416.6KentuckyHenderson24.217.6LouisianaMarrero24.112.3MaineLewiston31.820.3MarylandDundalk40.212.9MassachusettsLawrence43.710.8MichiganLincoln Park29.19.4MinnesotaBrooklyn Center36.120.3MississippiHorn Lake22.015.8MissouriGrandview29.219.4MontanaGreat Falls32.025.4NebraskaFremont31.918.3NevadaSunrise Manor24.710.6New HampshireRochester37.021.7New JerseyCamden39.79.8New MexicoSouth Valley27.314.0New YorkBrentwood36.613.9North CarolinaThomasville31.315.2North DakotaWilliston30.025.2OhioMarion28.39.9OklahomaShawnee25.520.6OregonGrants Pass33.715.8PennsylvaniaLebanon31.49.8Rhode IslandWoonsocket34.217.8South CarolinaNorth Charleston28.122.8South DakotaAberdeen28.829.3TennesseeMorristown27.314.9TexasBalch Springs29.97.2UtahMagna34.09.7VermontBurlington38.053.3VirginiaDanville38.817.6WashingtonSpanaway36.013.9West VirginiaParkersburg20.616.3WisconsinRacine30.116.6WyomingGillette27.419.2