Michael Mandel’s recent blog post on higher education attainment rates and earnings is worth a look. Mandel showed that more college grads are earning advanced degrees but fewer are getting doctoral degrees. And perhaps most eye-opening is that earnings for Ph.D. holders have fallen 10% since 1999.
Mandel’s thoughts sparked us to take a look at EMSI’s educational attainment data, and see what trends we noticed. Using our GIS tool, we created this map showing the highest concentration (or location quotient) of degree-holders. We included associate, bachelor, and graduate and higher degrees.
Now here are the top 15 US counties with the highest concentration of degree-holders. No. 1 on the list, Falls Church, Virginia, has an LQ of 2.23 — meaning it’s more than twice as concentrated as the nation in the number of residents with associate, bachelor, and graduate and higher degrees.
Virginia isn’t the only state that figures prominently in this ranking. Colorado and Maryland also appear multiple times. Just outside the top 15 is Boulder, Colo., with an LQ of 1.80.
If you would like to see these data mapped for your region, please email Josh Wright.