Least educated counties in Alabama

Written by:
May 14, 2022
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Least educated counties in Alabama

The value of traditional education can vary widely across the country. While a college degree has long been viewed as a critical step toward the American dream, growing costs have led many students to reconsider the return-on-investment of higher education. Meanwhile, local economies and individual circumstances can push others toward learning a trade or entering the workforce early.

These considerations aside, national statistics show a clear difference in earnings as they relate to educational attainment, as college graduates typically earn 65% more than those with only a high school degree.

To help understand areas with the lowest educational attainment, Stacker compiled a list of the least educated counties in Alabama using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the lowest percent of the population 25 years and over that has a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Ties are broken by the highest percent with less than high school diploma.

Keep read on for a look at the least-educated counties in Alabama.

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#50. Sumter County

- 21.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.3% ($15,511 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.4% ($24,277)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.8% ($23,285)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.4% ($31,761)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.2% ($44,972)

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Calvin Beale // U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

#49. Macon County

- 20.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($22,188 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.2% ($29,177)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.2% ($24,845)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.8% ($41,435)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.6% ($53,088)

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#48. Marshall County

- 19.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.4% ($23,934 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.1% ($27,458)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.1% ($32,058)
- Bachelor's degree: 13% ($45,597)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($56,943)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Calhoun County

- 18.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.6% ($19,845 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.8% ($28,967)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.2% ($32,907)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.5% ($43,864)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8% ($54,938)

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Tallapoosa County

- 18.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.3% ($23,204 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.7% ($28,667)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.5% ($31,778)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.8% ($47,390)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($64,402)

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Michael Rivera // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Dale County

- 18.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.9% ($22,967 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.3% ($25,841)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.7% ($35,579)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.1% ($43,855)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.1% ($53,448)

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Dailynetworks // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Colbert County

- 18.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.9% ($22,901 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.8% ($31,038)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.2% ($35,931)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.5% ($46,389)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($55,248)

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Prestinian // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Etowah County

- 17.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.4% ($21,450 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.9% ($27,631)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.9% ($31,400)
- Bachelor's degree: 11% ($42,642)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($58,774)

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Rivers Langley SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Russell County

- 17.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.2% ($26,455 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.4% ($27,300)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.6% ($31,106)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.4% ($52,238)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($52,366)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Crenshaw County

- 17.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.8% ($17,358 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.5% ($31,370)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.2% ($31,847)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.7% ($41,103)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.7% ($55,521)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Henry County

- 17.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.7% ($23,611 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.6% ($25,741)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.8% ($37,294)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.3% ($41,977)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($50,603)

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Randolph County

- 16.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.4% ($26,831 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.9% ($30,953)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.2% ($33,295)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.6% ($43,177)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.9% ($51,233)

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Butler County

- 16.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.9% ($18,865 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.2% ($25,604)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.8% ($27,859)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.7% ($41,818)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($52,619)

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#37. St. Clair County

- 16.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.5% ($24,878 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.6% ($36,650)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.9% ($41,672)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.6% ($52,458)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($58,760)

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#36. Marengo County

- 16.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.1% ($33,444 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38% ($26,665)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.7% ($33,223)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.7% ($51,111)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.4% ($56,935)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Cleburne County

- 15.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21% ($21,776 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38% ($35,766)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.6% ($34,813)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.1% ($41,359)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($50,270)

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Covington County

- 15.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.6% ($23,504 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.3% ($29,993)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.8% ($32,595)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.9% ($42,953)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($52,813)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Talladega County

- 15% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.6% ($18,602 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.7% ($30,512)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.6% ($33,284)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.4% ($48,705)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($53,480)

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DXR // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Dallas County

- 14.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($20,409 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.9% ($30,036)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.2% ($28,516)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.8% ($35,742)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.9% ($45,841)

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Mccallk69 // Shutterstock

#31. Lowndes County

- 14.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.6% ($16,488 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.6% ($26,498)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.1% ($32,468)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.2% ($52,779)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($52,049)

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Hale County

- 14.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16% ($15,524 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.4% ($29,308)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.4% ($29,022)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.3% ($29,656)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.9% ($52,895)

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#29. Pickens County

- 14.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.5% ($13,841 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.2% ($29,275)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.2% ($30,770)
- Bachelor's degree: 10% ($40,938)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.2% ($53,373)

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Springfieldohio // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Jackson County

- 14% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.9% ($22,909 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41% ($30,304)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.2% ($32,620)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.5% ($47,917)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.5% ($56,883)

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Franklin County

- 14% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 22.8% ($22,192 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.6% ($30,425)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($35,361)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.8% ($36,786)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.2% ($54,099)

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Cullman County

- 13.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.4% ($26,867 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.1% ($30,623)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.6% ($33,263)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.9% ($45,093)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5% ($57,398)

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Monroe County

- 13.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.3% ($29,917 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47.2% ($27,229)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.9% ($32,976)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.1% ($48,454)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.4% ($61,510)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Chambers County

- 13.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.4% ($21,471 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.7% ($28,693)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.6% ($33,170)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.5% ($45,224)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.8% ($50,000)

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Blount County

- 13.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.5% ($25,694 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.4% ($32,500)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.9% ($39,641)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.6% ($53,443)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.5% ($54,353)

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#22. DeKalb County

- 13% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 25.2% ($22,623 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.2% ($30,264)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.6% ($32,291)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.8% ($43,095)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.2% ($52,402)

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Conecuh County

- 12.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.7% ($32,396 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 51.1% ($26,030)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 20.5% ($23,116)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.2% ($42,375)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.6% ($60,651)

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Cherokee County

- 12.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.4% ($20,663 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 40.3% ($31,320)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.6% ($31,806)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.6% ($45,110)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.1% ($55,533)

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Coosa County

- 12.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20% ($19,091 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 40.3% ($26,776)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.9% ($32,120)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.6% ($46,382)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.2% ($67,589)

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Marion County

- 12.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.4% ($21,222 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.8% ($25,226)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32% ($30,997)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.9% ($37,237)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.9% ($50,639)

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#17. Winston County

- 12.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.2% ($24,762 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38.2% ($26,818)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.7% ($30,565)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.3% ($38,896)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($48,421)

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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Washington County

- 12.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.4% ($20,913 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.1% ($32,947)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.9% ($37,539)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.1% ($44,385)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.6% ($41,412)

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#15. Chilton County

- 12.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($27,072 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 44.4% ($30,436)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.7% ($37,603)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.1% ($54,906)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.6% ($53,250)

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#14. Lawrence County

- 12.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.7% ($26,458 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.2% ($34,313)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.6% ($40,947)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.4% ($50,957)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.1% ($54,674)

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#13. Escambia County

- 12.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.8% ($25,404 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.7% ($27,273)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25% ($30,672)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.2% ($44,306)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.3% ($53,443)

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Wmr36104 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Geneva County

- 12.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.7% ($15,296 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36% ($23,911)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.9% ($38,578)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.6% ($46,045)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.9% ($55,466)

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#11. Wilcox County

- 12.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 23.6% ($20,909 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.5% ($26,776)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.5% ($25,708)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.8% ($46,875)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.7% ($43,590)

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#10. Fayette County

- 12.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.4% ($21,779 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.3% ($29,044)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29% ($31,667)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.1% ($53,528)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.3% ($55,375)

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Altairisfar // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Clarke County

- 12.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 19.4% ($26,601 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 41.8% ($35,566)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($41,345)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.2% ($40,144)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5% ($52,969)

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#8. Bullock County

- 12.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 25.3% ($28,615 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 40.3% ($26,992)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.4% ($30,229)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.4% ($44,539)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.6% ($75,294)

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Myself - Nathon Morris // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lamar County

- 11.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.6% ($30,589 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.8% ($33,855)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.6% ($36,375)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.3% ($46,083)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.6% ($54,890)

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RuralSWAlabama (Billy Milstead) // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Choctaw County

- 11.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.6% ($30,259 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.7% ($32,821)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.8% ($30,691)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.7% ($41,618)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.3% ($55,149)

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Barbour County

- 11.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 26.8% ($23,099 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.6% ($23,750)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26% ($27,309)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.6% ($50,152)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4% ($58,209)

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#4. Walker County

- 11.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($22,299 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.5% ($30,196)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.9% ($37,396)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.4% ($46,276)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4% ($54,559)

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JNix // Shutterstock

#3. Clay County

- 10.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 23.4% ($17,301 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.8% ($32,168)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.3% ($33,596)
- Bachelor's degree: 5.9% ($42,188)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.6% ($48,661)

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#2. Bibb County

- 10.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21% ($22,044 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 44.9% ($26,829)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.8% ($27,833)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.5% ($42,688)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.9% ($63,393)

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#1. Greene County

- 10.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 20.8% ($8,462 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38.6% ($25,263)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.5% ($26,274)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.1% ($25,375)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4% ($37,500)

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