Least educated counties in New Mexico

Written by:
May 14, 2022
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Wikimedia Commons

Least educated counties in New Mexico

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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico.

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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

#33. Los Alamos County

- 67.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 2.4% ($85,625 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 8.8% ($32,040)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.4% ($55,982)
- Bachelor's degree: 26.6% ($76,128)
- Graduate or professional degree: 40.8% ($119,892)

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Asaavedra32 // Wikimedia

#32. Santa Fe County

- 41% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($26,303 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.3% ($29,711)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26% ($35,013)
- Bachelor's degree: 20.4% ($45,338)
- Graduate or professional degree: 20.6% ($62,200)

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M.Bucka // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Bernalillo County

- 34.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.1% ($20,788 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.2% ($28,654)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.3% ($32,035)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.8% ($46,788)
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.6% ($64,501)

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turtix // Shutterstock

#30. Sandoval County

- 30.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.1% ($21,834 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 25.5% ($30,698)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.9% ($35,138)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.5% ($49,221)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12% ($66,934)

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Underawesternsky // Shutterstock

#29. Grant County

- 28.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.6% ($23,938 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.5% ($24,854)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.2% ($27,858)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.1% ($35,603)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.7% ($47,382)

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Lochaven // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Taos County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 9.9% ($20,255 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.2% ($20,457)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.2% ($28,167)
- Bachelor's degree: 17% ($33,402)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11.8% ($52,500)

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David Langford // Shutterstock

#27. Dona Ana County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 20.5% ($16,410 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 22.7% ($22,361)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.6% ($28,753)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.1% ($41,126)
- Graduate or professional degree: 11% ($57,808)

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Gestalt Imagery // Shutterstock

#26. Lincoln County

- 25.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.5% ($17,661 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.9% ($23,061)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.8% ($26,463)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.6% ($39,401)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($51,306)

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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Roosevelt County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 20% ($19,327 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.1% ($32,037)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.1% ($31,475)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.6% ($35,650)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.3% ($52,658)

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#24. Socorro County

- 22% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.1% ($18,101 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.4% ($17,159)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.4% ($30,223)
- Bachelor's degree: 12% ($37,938)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10% ($54,045)

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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Colfax County

- 21.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.8% ($14,802 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.4% ($23,733)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.1% ($24,775)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.4% ($41,250)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.4% ($42,569)

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Vacaypicts // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Harding County

- 21.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.7%
- High school graduate: 26.5% ($25,000)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.2% ($19,375)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.6% ($30,000)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7% ($72,500)

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KeanoManu // Wikimedia Commons

#21. San Miguel County

- 21.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.7% ($16,009 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.6% ($22,188)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.2% ($26,180)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.7% ($37,269)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.7% ($54,296)

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psyberartist // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Sierra County

- 21.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.1% ($15,401 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.6% ($22,500)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.2% ($21,161)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.1%
- Graduate or professional degree: 8% ($59,063)

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Carptrash // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Rio Arriba County

- 19.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.5% ($20,899 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.2% ($29,657)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35% ($39,052)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.6% ($53,387)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($47,891)

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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Curry County

- 19.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.1% ($21,083 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.7% ($28,978)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36% ($32,027)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.8% ($41,095)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($58,913)

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Drmccreedy // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Valencia County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 15.5% ($21,533 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33% ($30,683)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.9% ($31,827)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.8% ($44,663)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.7% ($55,620)

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Cheri Alguire // Shutterstock

#16. Chaves County

- 18% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 21.8% ($20,583 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.7% ($26,801)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.5% ($29,627)
- Bachelor's degree: 12% ($46,468)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.9% ($54,148)

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Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#15. Otero County

- 17.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.6% ($13,823 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.3% ($24,530)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 38.6% ($27,821)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.5% ($40,678)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.9% ($59,677)

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Tony Hisgett // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Quay County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 18.1% ($16,709 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.7% ($19,198)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.1% ($22,325)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.2% ($40,357)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($57,864)

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#13. Eddy County

- 16.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.5% ($31,694 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.6% ($41,221)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.6% ($41,173)
- Bachelor's degree: 10% ($53,312)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.2% ($61,708)

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Peter Potrowl // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Catron County

- 15.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 5.9%
- High school graduate: 47.1% ($22,585)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.3% ($31,326)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.2% ($37,857)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.5%

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#11. San Juan County

- 14.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.1% ($21,681 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.5% ($29,906)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 39.5% ($33,837)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.7% ($48,396)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.2% ($56,348)

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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Torrance County

- 14.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15.4% ($32,315 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 37.7% ($31,388)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32% ($25,377)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.2% ($45,655)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.7% ($55,357)

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Hidalgo County

- 14.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.7% ($21,250 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.1% ($21,630)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 32.5% ($31,894)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.6% ($19,265)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5% ($39,934)

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#8. Cibola County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 17% ($18,987 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.2% ($23,864)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.6% ($26,809)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.7% ($45,463)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($69,491)

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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lea County

- 13.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 25.8% ($30,622 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.5% ($38,281)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.1% ($41,530)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.4% ($56,420)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.2% ($65,967)

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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#6. De Baca County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 15.7% ($26,429 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.2% ($35,076)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35% ($41,667)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.8% ($25,750)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.2% ($43,750)

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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Luna County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 30.2% ($14,000 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.4% ($21,961)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.8% ($22,822)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.7% ($39,118)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4.8% ($43,333)

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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Union County

- 11.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.2% ($15,734 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 46.8% ($31,111)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.3% ($29,704)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.2% ($40,521)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($52,188)

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StockPhotoAstur // Shutterstock

#3. McKinley County

- 11.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 22.8% ($15,706 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.4% ($21,095)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.4% ($26,836)
- Bachelor's degree: 6% ($41,667)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($56,250)

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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Mora County

- 11% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($39,464 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.1% ($30,614)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 44.2% ($25,426)
- Bachelor's degree: 6%
- Graduate or professional degree: 5% ($87,500)

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Guadalupe County

- 7.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.3% ($16,944 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47.5% ($20,115)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.7% ($28,902)
- Bachelor's degree: 3.6% ($35,417)
- Graduate or professional degree: 4% ($47,000)

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