Connecticut ranks third in the nation in the percentage of residents with graduate or professional degrees, and fourth in the nation in the percentage of residents with a bachelors degree. Those statistics helped lead Connecticut to an overall ranking of fourth in the U.S. in an analysis of the nation’s “most educated states.” In this study, the financial website WalletHub examined the key factors of a well-educated population: educational attainment, school quality and achievement gaps between genders and races. They compared all 50 states across 20 total metrics grouped into two categories.
"Connecticut is the fourth most educated state as it has a high quality school system, the fourth largest share of adults aged 25+ with at least a bachelor's degree, 38.5%, and the third largest share of adults with at least a graduate or professional degree, 17%,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
“The projected college graduation rate for 2020 in Connecticut is 64.5%, the fifth highest in the country, and 31% of 2017's high school class received high scores on advanced placement exams, the third largest share nationwide," Gonzalez added.
The data reviewed includes the share of adults aged 25 and older with at least a high school diploma, average university quality, and gender gap in educational attainment. Metrics also included graduation rates, math and reading test scores, advanced placement exams and public school system quality.
Leading the way was Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and Vermont. Rounding out the top 10 after Connecticut was Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah and Washington State. At the bottom of the rankings: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia and Mississippi.
Last year, a similar ranking of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas saw Bridgeport-Norwalk-Stamford rank tenth in the U.S. and the Hartford area rank 26th. Greater New Haven ranked 44th in that analysis.
In the state education analysis, Connecticut ranked 11th in average university quality and 17th in the percentage of Associate's Degree Holders or College-Experienced Adults.
It is the third consecutive year that Connecticut has ranked in the top five, although the criteria has differed slightly each year.