Counties with the most college graduates in Iowa

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

Counties with the most college graduates in Iowa

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 Iowa 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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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Cherokee County

- 22.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.7% ($47,695 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.2% ($30,910)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.5% ($33,319)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.1% ($43,860)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.6% ($59,180)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Cass County

- 23.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.1% ($26,239 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.3% ($35,181)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.5% ($36,868)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.2% ($41,298)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($60,000)

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Chuckmor // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Winnebago County

- 23.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.1% ($31,827 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.3% ($33,427)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.4% ($34,575)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.4% ($49,010)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.7% ($54,722)

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Dan Breyfogle // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Cerro Gordo County

- 23.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.8% ($30,313 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.6% ($30,420)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.4% ($39,100)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.6% ($52,572)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.5% ($74,254)

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Nst101 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Carroll County

- 23.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($40,533 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.1% ($31,946)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.8% ($38,964)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.1% ($51,275)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($73,958)

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Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#25. Woodbury County

- 23.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.3% ($33,379 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.7% ($31,484)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.4% ($37,538)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.0% ($50,981)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.6% ($67,889)

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Clay County

- 23.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.4% ($30,407 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.8% ($27,118)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.9% ($39,588)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.9% ($40,708)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.0% ($62,692)

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Ann Sullivan-Larson // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Hamilton County

- 24.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.4% ($33,171 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.0% ($37,228)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.6% ($42,225)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.3% ($55,554)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($71,607)

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Palo Alto County

- 24.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.3% ($21,484 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.8% ($30,614)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 38.2% ($33,947)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.9% ($47,300)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.9% ($59,250)

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Madison County

- 25.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.5% ($28,750 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.9% ($38,063)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.3% ($46,833)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.5% ($54,594)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.8% ($78,250)

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Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Boone County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 5.8% ($26,982 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.5% ($34,828)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.2% ($40,804)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.0% ($52,196)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.4% ($58,578)

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Jared Winkler // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Mills County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 6.4% ($36,563 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.9% ($33,199)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.7% ($41,897)
- Bachelor's degree: 19.1% ($56,282)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.9% ($77,974)

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Decatur County

- 26.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.2% ($19,957 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.8% ($26,791)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.4% ($34,338)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.5% ($36,814)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.0% ($50,486)

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Lolwhynot3498 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Grundy County

- 27.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.9% ($33,846 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.7% ($37,625)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.2% ($39,875)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.8% ($53,425)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($70,081)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Poweshiek County

- 28.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.2% ($32,097 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38.5% ($35,809)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.2% ($37,046)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.8% ($42,716)
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.3% ($63,750)

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David Wilson // Wikimedia

#15. Black Hawk County

- 29.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.2% ($30,294 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.9% ($31,892)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.7% ($36,308)
- Bachelor's degree: 19.4% ($48,213)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.8% ($70,997)

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Josejuan05 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Sioux County

- 29.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.2% ($31,965 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.2% ($32,363)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.1% ($38,811)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.0% ($44,013)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.5% ($59,816)

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Winneshiek County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 3.9% ($19,464 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.3% ($37,025)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.0% ($38,854)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.5% ($42,425)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.3% ($67,120)

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Marion County

- 30.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.1% ($23,553 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.5% ($38,390)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.6% ($38,765)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.9% ($51,478)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.9% ($73,773)

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Lynn Betts // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Warren County

- 31.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.1% ($25,634 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.5% ($39,030)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.1% ($47,345)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.9% ($60,446)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.4% ($71,790)

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FluffyGryphon // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Dubuque County

- 31.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($26,031 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.7% ($34,478)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.2% ($37,599)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.1% ($49,565)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.3% ($61,777)

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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Dickinson County

- 32.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.1% ($9,940 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.3% ($32,238)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.4% ($35,218)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.8% ($41,067)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.4% ($63,026)

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formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Scott County

- 32.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.5% ($27,813 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.7% ($33,601)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.3% ($37,281)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.5% ($55,499)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.1% ($74,180)

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Bremer County

- 33.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 3.6% ($30,625 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.1% ($36,869)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.3% ($41,572)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.5% ($51,692)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.5% ($69,357)

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Linn County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 5.4% ($26,438 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.4% ($33,531)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.2% ($40,372)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.6% ($55,383)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.5% ($78,968)

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Jefferson County

- 36.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.7% ($17,596 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.8% ($31,529)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.0% ($25,703)
- Bachelor's degree: 21.1% ($39,111)
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.4% ($40,962)

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Katie Haugland Bowen // Flickr

#4. Polk County

- 37.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.9% ($28,924 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 24.8% ($33,133)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.8% ($41,070)
- Bachelor's degree: 26.0% ($58,494)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.6% ($74,173)

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Stephen Matthew Milligan // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Dallas County

- 50.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.5% ($30,878 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 18.4% ($37,718)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.7% ($46,059)
- Bachelor's degree: 34.4% ($68,403)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.1% ($82,164)

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Carl Wycoff // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Story County

- 51.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 3.2% ($25,938 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 17.1% ($30,162)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.8% ($40,795)
- Bachelor's degree: 30.0% ($46,362)
- Graduate or professional degree: 22.0% ($58,175)

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Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Johnson County

- 54.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.3% ($25,780 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 15.8% ($29,824)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.6% ($38,787)
- Bachelor's degree: 29.1% ($47,183)
- Graduate or professional degree: 25.2% ($66,026)

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