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This is the Least Educated City in Minnesota

imageforentry29 d4j 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 Minnesota, no city or town with a population of 25,000 or more has a lower bachelor’s degree attainment rate than Brooklyn Center. Only 20.3% of the adult population in Brooklyn Center have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 36.1% of adults across the state as a whole.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate among American adults with a four-year college education was 5.5% 2020. Among those with no more than a high school diploma, the jobless rate was considerably higher, at 9.0%. In Brooklyn Center, an average of 4.7% of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 were unemployed over the last five years, higher than the 3.0% jobless rate across the state over that time.

Americans with a bachelor’s degree also tend to have higher incomes. The average weekly wage for a college-educated worker in the United States is about 67% higher than it is for those with no more than a high school diploma. In cities with low educational attainment, incomes also tend to be lower than average — and Brooklyn Center is no exception. The typical household in the area earns $59,550 a year, below the median household income of $71,306 across Minnesota 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.

State Least educated city Adults in state with a bachelor’s degree (%) Adults in city with a bachelor’s degree (%)
Alabama Bessemer 25.5 14.4
Alaska Fairbanks 29.6 27.2
Arizona San Luis 29.5 8.4
Arkansas Paragould 23.0 18.4
California Bell Gardens 33.9 5.4
Colorado Pueblo 40.9 18.9
Connecticut Waterbury 39.3 15.7
Delaware Dover 32.0 26.3
Florida West Little River 29.9 10.7
Georgia LaGrange 31.3 18.5
Hawaii Waipahu 33.0 17.1
Idaho Caldwell 27.6 13.7
Illinois Cicero 34.7 9.0
Indiana East Chicago 26.5 9.1
Iowa Clinton 28.6 17.5
Kansas Dodge City 33.4 16.6
Kentucky Henderson 24.2 17.6
Louisiana Marrero 24.1 12.3
Maine Lewiston 31.8 20.3
Maryland Dundalk 40.2 12.9
Massachusetts Lawrence 43.7 10.8
Michigan Lincoln Park 29.1 9.4
Minnesota Brooklyn Center 36.1 20.3
Mississippi Horn Lake 22.0 15.8
Missouri Grandview 29.2 19.4
Montana Great Falls 32.0 25.4
Nebraska Fremont 31.9 18.3
Nevada Sunrise Manor 24.7 10.6
New Hampshire Rochester 37.0 21.7
New Jersey Camden 39.7 9.8
New Mexico South Valley 27.3 14.0
New York Brentwood 36.6 13.9
North Carolina Thomasville 31.3 15.2
North Dakota Williston 30.0 25.2
Ohio Marion 28.3 9.9
Oklahoma Shawnee 25.5 20.6
Oregon Grants Pass 33.7 15.8
Pennsylvania Lebanon 31.4 9.8
Rhode Island Woonsocket 34.2 17.8
South Carolina North Charleston 28.1 22.8
South Dakota Aberdeen 28.8 29.3
Tennessee Morristown 27.3 14.9
Texas Balch Springs 29.9 7.2
Utah Magna 34.0 9.7
Vermont Burlington 38.0 53.3
Virginia Danville 38.8 17.6
Washington Spanaway 36.0 13.9
West Virginia Parkersburg 20.6 16.3
Wisconsin Racine 30.1 16.6
Wyoming Gillette 27.4 19.2


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