According to the analysis Stacker has published, Shelby County has a population with the highest level of education in the state. The data used to determine the rankings was from the American Community Survey (2013–2017). It included both the residents without a high-school diploma and those with professional or graduate degrees. Shelby County was 138th on the list of 3,142 American counties.
On the other hand, Clay County ranked as the least-educated Alabama county. As 3,025th on the list, it was among the lowest in the U.S.
What about the cities of Alabama?
Wallethub has recently studied statistics from America’s 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas in order to name the country’s most (and least) educated cities. Some of the factors used to determine the rankings included the quality of education systems, the number of adults (25 and older) with a bachelor’s degree or a high-school diploma, and the quality and number of universities in the area.
Alabama’s city that ranked the highest was Huntsville, as 30th on the list. When it came to educational attainment, this city was at number 25. However, public education’s quality and the attainment gap ranked Huntsville as 113th in America. The gap takes into consideration the differences in education between racial groups, genders, as well as income levels.
The lowest-ranked Yellowhammer State entry was Mobile, placing 124th. Its specific rankings were the complete opposite of Huntsville’s. Mobile was number 131 when educational attainment was concerned, but it improved in other aspects. When it came to the attainment gap and the education quality, this city ranked 26th in the country.
Alabama had a couple more entries on the list. These were Birmingham-Hoover, coming in at number 85, and Montgomery at number 105.
According to the list, the top ten most educated U.S. cities are:
- Ann Arbor in Michigan
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area in California
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, spanning DC, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia
- Durham-Chapel Hill in North Carolina
- Madison in Wisconsin
- San-Francisco-Oakland-Hayward in California
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue in Washington
- Austin-Round Rock in Texas
- Provo-Orem in Utah