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Report Lists Top 10 (and Bottom 10) Cities and States for College Degrees

Just how likely you are to finish college varies widely by where you live. The Lumina Foundation report, A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education, released Thursday includes a breakdown by state, county, and metro area of degree attainment.

The foundation notes that cities and metropolitan regions must be prime locations for action in the drive to increase college attainment, as more than 80 percent of Americans live in cities or suburbs.

The report analyzes U.S. Census data from the 2011 American Community Survey and looks at adults age 25-64 with at least an associate degree.

Top 10 states by degree attainment:

1. Massachusetts (50.8 percent)
2. Colorado (47 percent)
3. Minnesota (46.6 percent)
4. Connecticut (46.4 percent)
5. Vermont (46.2 percent)
6. New Hampshire (45.8 percent)
7. Maryland (45.4 percent)
8. New Jersey (45.1 percent)
9. Virginia (45 percent)
10. North Dakota (44.7 percent)

The bottom states by educational degrees included Arkansas (28.2 percent), Louisiana (27.9 percent) and West Virginia (27.8 percent).

Top 10 metro areas by degree attainment (among the 100 most-populated)

1. Madison, Wis. (54.81 percent)

2. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Va. (54.73 percent)

3. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H (54.25 percent)

4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (54.15 percent)

5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. (52.86 percent)

6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. (52.76 percent)

7. Raleigh-Cary, N.C. (52.64 percent)

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn. (50.65 percent)

9. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (49.27 percent)

10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (48.28 percent)

Bottom metro areas by education were Stockton, Calif.(26.75 percent), Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. (21.35 percent) and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (21.21 percent).

(The Lumina Foundation also supports Education Week coverage of P-16 alignment.)

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