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The most educated county in every state

Stacker Logo By Ben Wittstein of Stacker | Slide 1 of 51: The great American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Dewey was heavily invested in a school of thought known as pragmatism, which addresses the importance of learning academic concepts by way of experiencing them firsthand as opposed to simply hearing and repeating various things said in a classroom. While this is still a philosophy employed by many, especially those working in fields where the value of one’s work experience exceeds that of their academic background, many people take a great deal of pride in their formal educations, not only because of the many valuable skills gained, but also because of the immense amount of work that went into earning their particular degrees.To help understand areas with the highest educational attainment, Stacker used data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey to construct a weighted index which measures the relative education level for every county in the United States. This index evaluates each county’s over-25 population across seven educational tiers, ranging from individuals not educated past 8th grade to those with graduate or professional degrees. For each segment of these tiers, a points-based indexing system was applied in direct proportion to the estimated years of schooling for each level of educational attainment. Lastly, the full range of index scores was normalized to a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 representing the most educated county in the United States.The county in each state with the highest weighted index is included in the story—read on to see where people in each state go to school the longest on average.Related: Least educated county in every state

The most educated county in every state

The great American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Dewey was heavily invested in a school of thought known as pragmatism, which addresses the importance of learning academic concepts by way of experiencing them firsthand as opposed to simply hearing and repeating various things said in a classroom. While this is still a philosophy employed by many, especially those working in fields where the value of one’s work experience exceeds that of their academic background, many people take a great deal of pride in their formal educations, not only because of the many valuable skills gained, but also because of the immense amount of work that went into earning their particular degrees.

To help understand areas with the highest educational attainment, Stacker used data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey to construct a weighted index which measures the relative education level for every county in the United States. This index evaluates each county’s over-25 population across seven educational tiers, ranging from individuals not educated past 8th grade to those with graduate or professional degrees. For each segment of these tiers, a points-based indexing system was applied in direct proportion to the estimated years of schooling for each level of educational attainment. Lastly, the full range of index scores was normalized to a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 representing the most educated county in the United States.

The county in each state with the highest weighted index is included in the story—click or swipe through to see where people in each state go to school the longest on average.

Related: Least educated county in every state

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