Counties with the most college graduates in Illinois

Written by:
July 2, 2022
Neatpete86 // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the most college graduates in Illinois

The American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Dewey advocated for an educational paradigm called pragmatism, which stresses the importance of learning academic concepts by experiencing them firsthand, instead of through lecture and repetition in a classroom.

While the philosophy is used by many educators (especially those working in fields where the value of work experience exceeds the value placed on an academic background), many people take great pride in their formal educational credentials because of the valuable skills such educations provided and because of the immense amount of work that goes into earning a degree.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most college graduates in Illinois using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percent of the population 25 years and over that has a Bachelor’s degree or higher using 2020 5-year estimates.

Keep reading to see which counties in your state have the most college graduates.

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Archedamian // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Macon County

- 23.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.7% ($21,621 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.3% ($32,153)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.4% ($37,108)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.7% ($51,128)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.9% ($63,672)

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#29. Henry County

- 23.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.6% ($28,539 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.1% ($33,323)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.6% ($39,951)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.5% ($52,287)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.3% ($68,359)

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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Rock Island County

- 23.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.1% ($24,146 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.1% ($32,967)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.9% ($36,256)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.3% ($51,226)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.5% ($66,944)

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Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Boone County

- 24.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.3% ($31,068 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.3% ($33,873)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.2% ($36,141)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.6% ($56,473)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.6% ($87,381)

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#26. Jersey County

- 24.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.9% ($33,405 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.1% ($35,540)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.7% ($41,936)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.2% ($50,446)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.1% ($65,882)

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#25. Adams County

- 25.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.8% ($22,296 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.4% ($35,931)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.6% ($34,897)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.4% ($44,641)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.8% ($59,327)

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#24. Grundy County

- 25.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.4% ($38,047 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.7% ($40,184)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.4% ($47,457)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.7% ($60,279)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.8% ($69,245)

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#23. Williamson County

- 25.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.6% ($18,045 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.8% ($29,060)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.0% ($35,106)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.5% ($48,791)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.1% ($67,448)

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Tazewell County

- 26.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.8% ($20,397 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.9% ($36,094)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.3% ($38,204)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.9% ($57,022)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($64,540)

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Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Coles County

- 26.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.1% ($20,145 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.1% ($27,211)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.8% ($30,415)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.2% ($41,998)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.8% ($52,390)

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#20. Jo Daviess County

- 26.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.6% ($25,752 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.8% ($32,026)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.2% ($32,366)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.4% ($45,417)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.0% ($53,683)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Madison County

- 27.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.3% ($21,190 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.9% ($32,308)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.1% ($40,371)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.4% ($56,408)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.3% ($71,276)

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Xing979 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. St. Clair County

- 29.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.3% ($21,952 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.8% ($29,916)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.9% ($36,332)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.0% ($55,230)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.0% ($66,843)

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Dual Freq // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Piatt County

- 29.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.2% ($39,395 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.2% ($33,961)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.7% ($41,073)
- Bachelor's degree: 19.9% ($50,298)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.9% ($60,298)

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#16. Peoria County

- 31.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.2% ($23,348 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.2% ($27,266)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.5% ($34,373)
- Bachelor's degree: 19.1% ($51,268)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.0% ($74,257)

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#15. DeKalb County

- 32.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.9% ($30,736 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.4% ($34,306)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.4% ($37,895)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.2% ($51,143)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.2% ($60,394)

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#14. McDonough County

- 32.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.8% ($30,054 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.8% ($24,583)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.1% ($30,193)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.0% ($45,000)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.4% ($53,363)

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ProfDEH // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Woodford County

- 33.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.5% ($27,637 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.3% ($36,707)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.4% ($43,741)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.6% ($62,354)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.2% ($74,892)

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Sangamon County

- 34.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.5% ($21,785 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.6% ($32,296)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.8% ($39,066)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.0% ($53,915)
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.1% ($70,411)

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#11. Kane County

- 34.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.3% ($28,292 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.8% ($35,155)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.2% ($41,755)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.5% ($65,629)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.2% ($79,498)

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Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Will County

- 34.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.5% ($29,825 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.3% ($37,350)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.4% ($45,258)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.3% ($65,996)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.5% ($81,619)

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Carldaniel // Wikimedia Commons

#9. McHenry County

- 35.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($28,552 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.8% ($40,370)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.2% ($45,902)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.6% ($64,798)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.6% ($77,553)

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#8. Jackson County

- 35.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.4% ($23,528 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 24.3% ($23,574)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.8% ($27,269)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.3% ($36,157)
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.3% ($50,180)

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IvoShandor // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Kendall County

- 35.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.7% ($27,909 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.3% ($45,419)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.1% ($45,325)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.1% ($62,610)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.8% ($69,229)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Monroe County

- 36.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.2% ($12,078 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.3% ($36,603)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.0% ($46,886)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.9% ($60,051)
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.6% ($90,247)

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#5. Cook County

- 40.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.3% ($26,688 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.6% ($31,681)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.1% ($37,952)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.6% ($61,337)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.4% ($79,386)

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Michael from Palatine, Illinois // Wikimedia Commons

#4. McLean County

- 44.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 3.8% ($22,010 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 24.1% ($34,208)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.6% ($40,422)
- Bachelor's degree: 29.4% ($59,603)
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.2% ($72,075)

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Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Champaign County

- 45.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.1% ($23,167 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 21.9% ($31,702)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.0% ($36,373)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.1% ($50,377)
- Graduate or professional degree: 23.9% ($57,951)

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edward P. steinburg desnged // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Lake County

- 46.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.2% ($26,014 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 20.1% ($34,965)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.6% ($41,984)
- Bachelor's degree: 26.9% ($71,181)
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.1% ($99,302)

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Neatpete86 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. DuPage County

- 50.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($28,572 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 18.2% ($35,946)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.8% ($43,932)
- Bachelor's degree: 30.6% ($66,202)
- Graduate or professional degree: 19.7% ($89,146)

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