Least educated counties in Massachusetts

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May 14, 2022
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Least educated counties in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts.

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Jellymuffin40 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Middlesex County

- 56.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.6% ($26,907 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 19% ($38,743)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 18.1% ($44,769)
- Bachelor's degree: 27.5% ($69,313)
- Graduate or professional degree: 28.8% ($90,051)

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Jameslwoodward // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Norfolk County

- 53.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.1% ($26,312 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 19.2% ($39,242)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.1% ($46,801)
- Bachelor's degree: 28.6% ($70,797)
- Graduate or professional degree: 25% ($91,103)

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thisisbossi // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Nantucket County

- 52.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.3% ($31,015 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 19.8% ($45,989)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.9% ($51,463)
- Bachelor's degree: 31.3% ($52,722)
- Graduate or professional degree: 21.5% ($53,438)

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Hampshire County

- 48.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.3% ($30,203 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.6% ($38,363)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.8% ($39,561)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.9% ($49,757)
- Graduate or professional degree: 24.5% ($66,183)

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#10. Suffolk County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 13.6% ($25,250 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.1% ($31,399)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 18.1% ($38,379)
- Bachelor's degree: 25.3% ($63,248)
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.7% ($77,168)

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Jwgetchell // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Dukes County

- 44.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.2% ($30,794 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.6% ($33,942)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.3% ($40,044)
- Bachelor's degree: 26.4% ($53,099)
- Graduate or professional degree: 18.5% ($61,285)

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#8. Barnstable County

- 43.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.5% ($30,914 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.7% ($35,247)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.3% ($38,393)
- Bachelor's degree: 24.9% ($51,302)
- Graduate or professional degree: 18.6% ($64,624)

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Bobak // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Essex County

- 39.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($26,541 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.1% ($35,728)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.4% ($42,284)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.7% ($64,688)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.2% ($82,324)

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Schlitzer90 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Plymouth County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 7.1% ($30,804 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.8% ($40,669)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.5% ($45,323)
- Bachelor's degree: 23.7% ($66,874)
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.9% ($85,677)

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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Franklin County

- 37.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($24,083 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.5% ($33,525)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.6% ($38,098)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.4% ($43,955)
- Graduate or professional degree: 16.9% ($56,211)

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Worcester County

- 36.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.3% ($27,292 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.8% ($38,374)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($43,092)
- Bachelor's degree: 22% ($61,904)
- Graduate or professional degree: 14.4% ($80,708)

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Protophobic // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Berkshire County

- 33.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.6% ($22,591 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.4% ($33,259)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.4% ($36,410)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.7% ($46,304)
- Graduate or professional degree: 14.9% ($60,634)

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Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Bristol County

- 28.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.3% ($31,955 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.9% ($38,519)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.1% ($43,594)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.3% ($60,730)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.4% ($79,335)

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#1. Hampden County

- 27.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.2% ($23,778 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.7% ($34,312)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28% ($38,837)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.5% ($53,928)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.6% ($67,271)

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