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This Is the Least Educated Metro Area in Minnesota



imageforentry39 imd 1 College enrollment has declined steadily in the United States in recent years. With rising tuition costs and surging student debt, enrollment has fallen by 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 33.1% 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 metro area where the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree is well below the national average.

In the St. Cloud metro area, located in Minnesota, only 26.6% of the adult population have a bachelor’s degree, the smallest share of any metro area in the state. Meanwhile, across Minnesota, 37.3% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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 — and in places with lower educational attainment, incomes also tend to be lower than average. In the St. Cloud metro area, the typical household earns $66,076 per year, less than the median household income across Minnesota of $74,593.

All data in this story are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

Least educated metro area Adults with a bachelor’s degree (%) Adults with a bachelor’s degree, statewide (%) Median household income ($) Median household income, statewide ($)
Alabama: Gadsden 17.2 26.3 41,447 51,734
Alaska: Anchorage 33.1 30.2 80,676 75,463
Arizona: Lake Havasu City-Kingman 13.5 30.2 50,179 62,055
Arkansas: Pine Bluff 16.4 23.3 41,541 48,952
California: Visalia 13.6 35.0 57,692 80,440
Colorado: Pueblo 23.4 42.7 51,276 77,127
Connecticut: Norwich-New London 33.3 39.8 75,633 78,833
Delaware: Dover 24.5 33.2 58,001 70,176
Florida: Sebring-Avon Park 16.7 30.7 48,698 59,227
Georgia: Dalton 15.0 32.5 51,967 61,980
Hawaii: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina 27.7 33.6 80,754 83,102
Idaho: Twin Falls 20.0 28.7 56,667 60,999
Illinois: Danville 12.1 35.8 43,111 69,187
Indiana: Michigan City-La Porte 18.0 26.9 56,019 57,603
Iowa: Sioux City 22.6 29.3 60,132 61,691
Kansas: Topeka 29.1 34.0 59,567 62,087
Kentucky: Elizabethtown-Fort Knox 21.4 25.1 55,246 52,295
Louisiana: Houma-Thibodaux 16.3 25.0 49,874 51,073
Maine: Lewiston-Auburn 25.1 33.2 63,813 58,924
Maryland: Cumberland 19.1 40.9 49,729 86,738
Massachusetts: Pittsfield 33.9 45.0 58,895 85,843
Michigan: Battle Creek 20.2 30.0 49,055 59,584
Minnesota: St. Cloud 26.6 37.3 66,076 74,593
Mississippi: Gulfport-Biloxi 22.7 22.3 50,642 45,792
Missouri: St. Joseph 20.0 30.2 50,425 57,409
Montana: Great Falls 25.6 33.6 51,227 57,153
Nebraska: Grand Island 21.0 33.2 55,907 63,229
Nevada: Carson City 21.3 25.7 57,270 63,276
New Hampshire: Manchester-Nashua 37.8 37.6 83,626 77,933
New Jersey: Vineland-Bridgeton 16.1 41.2 54,587 85,751
New Mexico: Farmington 14.4 27.7 44,321 51,945
New York: Watertown-Fort Drum 22.4 37.8 53,917 72,108
North Carolina: Rocky Mount 17.4 32.3 46,466 57,341
North Dakota: Bismarck 33.4 30.4 70,979 64,577
Ohio: Springfield 16.2 29.3 50,128 58,642
Oklahoma: Lawton 20.5 26.2 51,332 54,449
Oregon: Grants Pass 16.8 34.5 47,573 67,058
Pennsylvania: Johnstown 20.6 32.3 49,076 63,463
Rhode Island: Providence-Warwick 33.2 34.8 70,967 71,169
South Carolina: Sumter 20.1 29.6 49,263 56,227
South Dakota: Rapid City 30.8 29.7 58,361 59,533
Tennessee: Morristown 19.3 28.7 47,326 56,071
Texas: Odessa 15.1 30.8 67,205 64,034
Utah: St. George 27.3 34.8 63,595 75,780
Vermont: Burlington-South Burlington 44.6 38.7 74,909 63,001
Virginia: Staunton 24.2 39.6 57,844 76,456
Washington: Longview 15.3 37.0 55,497 78,687
West Virginia: Weirton-Steubenville 17.5 21.1 49,510 48,850
Wisconsin: Janesville-Beloit 23.2 31.3 61,243 64,168
Wyoming: Casper 20.7 29.1 65,034 65,003



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