Least educated counties in Pennsylvania

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

Least educated counties in Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania 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 a high school diploma.

Keep reading for a look at the least-educated counties in Pennsylvania.

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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Lancaster County

- 27.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 14.9% ($31,048 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.3% ($34,671)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.5% ($37,773)
- Bachelor's degree: 17.3% ($50,115)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10% ($67,080)

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#49. Pike County

- 26.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7% ($25,050 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 34.3% ($33,687)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.8% ($35,474)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.2% ($54,653)
- Graduate or professional degree: 10.6% ($66,687)

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Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Union County

- 26% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 13.2% ($29,681 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39% ($26,900)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.8% ($31,281)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.9% ($51,564)
- Graduate or professional degree: 12.1% ($65,603)

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#47. York County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10.1% ($24,379 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.6% ($35,523)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.5% ($41,459)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.3% ($55,744)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.5% ($72,150)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Berks County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 13.3% ($27,549 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.7% ($35,486)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.1% ($39,213)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.1% ($53,858)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.8% ($70,936)

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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Beaver County

- 24.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 6.9% ($22,306 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 36.8% ($32,018)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 31.6% ($39,204)
- Bachelor's degree: 16.6% ($53,383)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($64,118)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Monroe County

- 24.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($30,885 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 35.1% ($32,169)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 29.8% ($37,574)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.8% ($50,720)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($69,185)

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User:Ruhrfisch // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Lycoming County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10% ($24,940 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 38.9% ($30,520)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.8% ($33,763)
- Bachelor's degree: 15.5% ($46,687)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.9% ($63,515)

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Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Indiana County

- 23% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.1% ($26,392 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.2% ($30,681)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.8% ($34,076)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.3% ($43,125)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.7% ($57,917)

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Ruhrfisch (talk) // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Columbia County

- 22.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.7% ($26,146 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43% ($30,475)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.4% ($36,778)
- Bachelor's degree: 14% ($47,823)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($66,152)

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#40. Luzerne County

- 22.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.2% ($25,218 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39% ($30,134)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28% ($36,687)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.1% ($50,540)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.7% ($67,309)

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#39. Mercer County

- 22.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.1% ($25,160 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43% ($30,547)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.1% ($31,848)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.5% ($47,599)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.3% ($60,924)

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Pixabay

#38. Adams County

- 22.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.2% ($30,187 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 39.9% ($35,355)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.6% ($39,213)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.7% ($50,438)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.6% ($72,981)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Lawrence County

- 22.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.3% ($22,926 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.3% ($29,799)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.4% ($35,206)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.6% ($50,439)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.5% ($64,399)

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#36. Clarion County

- 22.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.9% ($24,958 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 46.5% ($30,978)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.5% ($31,945)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.1% ($38,356)
- Graduate or professional degree: 9.1% ($58,712)

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#35. Franklin County

- 21.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.8% ($31,388 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 43.1% ($34,058)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.5% ($41,196)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.8% ($51,371)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.8% ($64,054)

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#34. Blair County

- 21.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 8.6% ($24,432 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45% ($30,423)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.1% ($35,906)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.1% ($48,120)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.2% ($62,138)

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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Cambria County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.1% ($22,906 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.4% ($28,912)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.5% ($32,600)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.5% ($45,541)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.7% ($60,700)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Crawford County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 11% ($29,974 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.8% ($29,534)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.1% ($34,541)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.1% ($43,248)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($60,180)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Lebanon County

- 20.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.9% ($30,088 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 44% ($33,350)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.5% ($36,828)
- Bachelor's degree: 13.1% ($51,732)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.6% ($63,782)

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Andrew Rodland // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Wayne County

- 20.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($26,809 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 42.9% ($30,604)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.3% ($31,928)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.3% ($42,284)
- Graduate or professional degree: 8.1% ($63,339)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Snyder County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 13.4% ($28,871 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.6% ($32,918)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.3% ($36,273)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.5% ($51,762)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.3% ($69,414)

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#28. Elk County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 7.7% ($23,258 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48% ($36,100)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.8% ($36,191)
- Bachelor's degree: 14.1% ($48,996)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($57,992)

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Michael J // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Wyoming County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 7.8% ($27,607 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 46.4% ($30,748)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.1% ($37,618)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.9% ($49,470)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.7% ($59,000)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Warren County

- 19.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 7.1% ($23,088 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.4% ($30,349)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 27.9% ($32,451)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.8% ($45,281)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.7% ($60,568)

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#25. Clinton County

- 19.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($23,693 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.5% ($31,219)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.3% ($37,848)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.4% ($45,326)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7% ($63,625)

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#24. Tioga County

- 19.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.6% ($22,984 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.3% ($29,940)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26% ($33,331)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.9% ($45,854)
- Graduate or professional degree: 7.2% ($57,074)

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Nicholas from Pennsylvania, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#23. McKean County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 8.3% ($21,897 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47.5% ($29,597)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.4% ($35,492)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.1% ($46,003)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($61,741)

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Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Venango County

- 18.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.8% ($24,650 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48% ($29,190)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.4% ($32,868)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.6% ($42,994)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.1% ($61,028)

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#21. Bradford County

- 18.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.9% ($28,073 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47% ($31,571)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.3% ($36,441)
- Bachelor's degree: 12.1% ($46,395)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.6% ($64,732)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Susquehanna County

- 18.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.2% ($29,677 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45% ($31,353)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.3% ($33,525)
- Bachelor's degree: 12% ($46,183)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.7% ($62,109)

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#19. Carbon County

- 17.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.6% ($27,342 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 45.3% ($33,993)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.2% ($37,201)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.1% ($50,091)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($62,107)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Greene County

- 17.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.5% ($23,906 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 46% ($33,302)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.9% ($35,846)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.8% ($45,300)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.9% ($69,750)

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Joe Calzarette // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Huntingdon County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10.6% ($24,362 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48.8% ($30,380)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.2% ($34,531)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.6% ($44,788)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($56,935)

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#16. Fayette County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 11.5% ($19,789 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48% ($30,858)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.2% ($37,492)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.7% ($47,702)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($66,915)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Sullivan County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 10.5% ($26,615 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47.7% ($31,662)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.7% ($33,972)
- Bachelor's degree: 11% ($44,375)
- Graduate or professional degree: 6.2% ($56,750)

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Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Armstrong County

- 16.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 9.7% ($24,125 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 49% ($31,467)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 24.6% ($37,035)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.2% ($46,496)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.5% ($63,846)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Perry County

- 16.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.6% ($32,616 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47.4% ($36,661)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 23.4% ($42,713)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.4% ($53,551)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($63,636)

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Jakec // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Schuylkill County

- 16.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($27,516 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 46.6% ($34,583)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 26.1% ($37,490)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.2% ($50,985)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($61,630)

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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Northumberland County

- 16.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($24,392 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 49.8% ($31,239)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.6% ($37,019)
- Bachelor's degree: 11.1% ($49,418)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($61,934)

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Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Jefferson County

- 15.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 10.7% ($30,612 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 51.1% ($30,205)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.4% ($35,565)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.2% ($43,104)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($58,854)

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Canadian2006 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Somerset County

- 15.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 11.7% ($23,529 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 49.8% ($29,914)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.6% ($32,368)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.6% ($48,999)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($54,909)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Potter County

- 15.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($22,045 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 47% ($29,775)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 25.6% ($33,005)
- Bachelor's degree: 10% ($41,250)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.4% ($53,487)

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Clearfield County

- 15.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12.7% ($21,536 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 49.5% ($29,711)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22.7% ($35,344)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.8% ($42,977)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.2% ($60,548)

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Canadian2006 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bedford County

- 14.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 12% ($22,594 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 51.3% ($30,194)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.9% ($35,704)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.9% ($45,781)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($53,816)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Juniata County

- 14.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 16.7% ($30,972 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48.8% ($32,417)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 20% ($37,274)
- Bachelor's degree: 9.2% ($48,363)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.3% ($53,950)

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Nicholas // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Cameron County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 9.3% ($16,750 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 48.3% ($23,558)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 28.7% ($31,607)
- Bachelor's degree: 10.3% ($44,212)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.4% ($52,250)

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Fulton County

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

- Less than high school diploma: 12.2% ($27,596 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 52.2% ($33,828)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 22% ($40,591)
- Bachelor's degree: 7.8% ($44,844)
- Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($57,000)

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Mifflin County

- 11.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 15% ($32,075 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 51.8% ($30,722)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 21.3% ($36,282)
- Bachelor's degree: 8.4% ($46,317)
- Graduate or professional degree: 3.5% ($56,585)

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Forest County

- 8.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor's degree or higher

- Less than high school diploma: 17% ($14,308 median earnings)
- High school graduate: 57.4% ($18,264)
- Some college or Associate's degree: 17.5% ($22,279)
- Bachelor's degree: 5.1% ($24,583)
- Graduate or professional degree: 2.9%

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