Least educated counties in Oregon

Written by:
May 14, 2022
Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

Least educated counties in Oregon

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 Oregon 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 Oregon.

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cpaulfell // Shutterstock

#36. Benton County

- 54.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 4.1% ($29,663 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 13.3% ($30,762)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.5% ($31,765)
- Bachelor's degree: 29.2% ($42,108)
- Graduate or professional degree: 24.9% ($61,636)

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Stuart Seeger // Wikicommons

#35. Multnomah County

- 45.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.5% ($24,949 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 17% ($30,642)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.7% ($35,071)
- Bachelor's degree: 27.6% ($51,406)
- Graduate or professional degree: 18.3% ($70,511)

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M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Washington County

- 44.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.8% ($26,106 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 17.4% ($31,870)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 30.3% ($41,212)
- Bachelor's degree: 27.4% ($61,129)
- Graduate or professional degree: 17.1% ($88,533)

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Mrgadget51 // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Clackamas County

- 37.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($28,660 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 21.2% ($36,491)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 34.8% ($44,067)
- Bachelor's degree: 24.1% ($61,182)
- Graduate or professional degree: 13.3% ($75,370)

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Deschutes County

- 35.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.3% ($26,928 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 21.8% ($29,965)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.5% ($33,493)
- Bachelor's degree: 22.4% ($44,760)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.9% ($60,939)

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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Hood River County

- 32% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.7% ($25,740 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 21.8% ($33,582)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.6% ($31,800)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.9% ($48,800)
- Graduate or professional degree: 15.1% ($64,450)

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Bruce Fingerhood from Springfield, Oregon, US // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Polk County

- 31% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.1% ($23,634 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.5% ($31,533)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.4% ($37,845)
- Bachelor's degree: 19% ($46,263)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12% ($67,536)

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Lauram12345 // Wikicommons

#29. Lane County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.1% ($23,701 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 23.2% ($29,988)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 38.3% ($31,530)
- Bachelor's degree: 18.4% ($40,398)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.1% ($54,469)

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Little Mountain 5 // Wikicommons

#28. Jackson County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 9.9% ($23,988 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.1% ($30,420)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.1% ($31,501)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.1% ($44,293)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.7% ($59,010)

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M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Yamhill County

- 26.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11% ($27,288 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 24.6% ($30,687)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.5% ($39,099)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.6% ($52,978)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.3% ($62,000)

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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Wallowa County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 6.9% ($28,276 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.6% ($26,268)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 38.1% ($26,985)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.7% ($36,198)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.8% ($53,125)

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EncMstr // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Lincoln County

- 24.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.6% ($24,268 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.3% ($25,406)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 39.3% ($30,231)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.8% ($34,620)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.1% ($50,673)

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Manuela Durson // Shutterstock

#24. Curry County

- 24.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.7% ($19,500 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 27.4% ($30,685)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 38.3% ($34,446)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.9% ($54,164)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.7% ($51,404)

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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Union County

- 24.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.3% ($26,017 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.2% ($31,803)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36% ($31,095)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.6% ($41,622)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8% ($57,105)

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English: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Clatsop County

- 24.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8% ($25,620 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.7% ($31,757)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 40.9% ($30,822)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.5% ($40,914)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($60,970)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Baker County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 9% ($23,889 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.1% ($28,245)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.2% ($28,460)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.7% ($43,668)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8% ($51,579)

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Edmund Garman // Flickr

#20. Marion County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 14.7% ($26,169 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 26.6% ($30,313)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.2% ($33,948)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.5% ($50,191)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8% ($63,403)

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USFWS Headquarters' photostream // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Tillamook County

- 21.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.5% ($17,048 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.7% ($30,273)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 39.1% ($33,090)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.9% ($37,699)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($57,692)

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Bobjgalindo // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Klamath County

- 20% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($16,584 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31% ($31,194)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.1% ($30,544)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.6% ($41,910)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.4% ($59,688)

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Cacophony // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Crook County

- 19.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10% ($24,333 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.3% ($26,414)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37% ($31,916)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.5% ($48,452)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.3% ($49,212)

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Cacophony // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Wasco County

- 19.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.6% ($26,443 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29.1% ($32,112)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37.8% ($34,044)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.4% ($55,517)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.2% ($53,403)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Jefferson County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 12.9% ($25,735 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.7% ($26,500)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 37% ($32,444)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.9% ($41,156)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($59,152)

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Jmabel // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Linn County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10.5% ($25,641 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 29% ($30,787)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 41.2% ($39,293)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.3% ($43,261)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6% ($55,091)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Grant County

- 18.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.2% ($28,750 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36% ($31,250)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.9% ($28,697)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.7% ($42,500)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.2% ($49,688)

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Cacophony // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Columbia County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.7% ($30,417 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.8% ($34,618)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 39% ($44,146)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.3% ($59,333)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.2% ($62,729)

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Ken L. // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Harney County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.4% ($30,417 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.6% ($28,163)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.6% ($29,963)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.4% ($42,000)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($54,625)

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Debbie Tegtmeier // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Coos County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 11.2% ($25,057 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.2% ($27,555)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 40.8% ($30,380)
- Bachelor's degree: 11% ($50,143)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($60,519)

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Joseph Novak // Wikicommons

#9. Josephine County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 9.6% ($24,136 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31% ($23,559)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 41.9% ($28,538)
- Bachelor's degree: 11% ($40,500)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($58,762)

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Tedder // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Gilliam County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10.1% ($36,250 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 30.5% ($37,813)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 42% ($31,750)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.4% ($40,000)
- Graduate or professional degree: 2% ($42,292)

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English: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Douglas County

- 17.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($25,462 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 32.3% ($28,884)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 40% ($30,519)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.8% ($44,109)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.5% ($62,364)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Sherman County

- 17.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($35,208 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.9% ($30,083)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 40.1% ($38,295)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.8% ($57,639)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($40,750)

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Gancayco // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Umatilla County

- 17.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17.6% ($24,943 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 28.5% ($29,108)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36.7% ($36,040)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.8% ($42,629)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.3% ($61,125)

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Ken L. // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lake County

- 16.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.5% ($21,509 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.5% ($30,173)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 35.6% ($28,750)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.1% ($51,417)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($74,000)

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Tomas Nevesely // Shutterstock

#3. Wheeler County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.4%
- High school graduate: 37.1% ($26,150)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 39.6% ($25,063)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.3% ($37,917)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.6% ($40,313)

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Ken L. from Reno, Nevada, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Malheur County

- 13.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 18.9% ($21,803 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 31.4% ($30,261)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 36% ($27,976)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.5% ($36,228)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.2% ($52,708)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Morrow County

- 9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 24.2% ($30,847 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 33.1% ($35,806)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 33.6% ($35,804)
- Bachelor's degree: 6.2% ($48,056)
- Graduate or professional degree: 2.8% ($54,773)

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