Saturday, April 28, 2007

Most and Least Educated States

Encarta has an article called The Most (and Least) Educated States. The article examines ranking systems of education in states.

The map above, based on data from the article, has some geographical trends. Most of the highly college educated states range from the District of Colombia to New England. While I have not looked at the data for Virginia I am sure the Northern Virginia (NOVA) area around Washington is the reason Virginia is on the top of the list. Many people who live here worked for government, non-government organizations, and businesses that are highly intertwined with the government.

Appalachia, the central South, and the Ohio River area are some of the lowest college educated areas in America. Here many poor Whites and Blacks have lived. The plantation economy was never huge here. The area has portions of coal mining country and the Rust Belt. Nevada is proportionally low also. Many businesses in booming Las Vegas are service sector which do not require a college degree.


Anonymous said...

I think your assessment of Northern Virginia skewing the rest of the state is right on the mark. It's not just education but income, diversity, job type, etc., that is shifting. Changing demographics seem to be tied to a flood of new residents from other states and countries attracted to high-paying IT and defense-related government contracting jobs. This is also having an impact on the political landscape. Virginia, once a solid Republican-majority state, swung to the Democrats in the three most recent statewide elections: the last Senate contest and the last two elections for Governor. For a bellwether of what may happen in future elections, look no further than Fairfax County outside of the Beltway along with Loudoun County. The residents of this small patch alone comprise nearly 15% of the state population. The change in Loudoun is particularly astonishing given its prior voting history, but it has has tripled or quadrupled its population over the last couple of decades. Throw in NOVa's inner suburbs plus Richmond plus Tidewater and the contests become particularly competitive. Tiny Arlington County, just a speck on the map at 26 square miles, has twenty times the population of many downstate counties. NOVa could become a crucial player in the next Presidential election depending on whether the demographic shifts in its outer suburbs are large enough to swing Virginia towards one party or the other. Regardless of political affiliation, this is a fascinating spot to watch.

I just stumbled across your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. Very thought provoking.

Howder (

Anonymous said...

The plantation economy ? I live in Alabama we have nasa here as well as redstone arsenol. Also most of the countrys enginearing is done here for nasa by boing and other companies. You need to look into your research more there is no "The plantation economy" here. we are fully functioning cities and have some of the countries most important work on defense systems being developed here. Your friend "The plantation economy " worker

Catholicgauze said...

You need to read what I wrote. "The plantation economy was never huge here." That statement agrees with your's and is in the past tense.