Where Does A College Degree Have The Biggest Impact On Your Income

    College is a big investment. How much can a college degree increase your income? It depends a lot on the state. In some states, a degree can double your salary.

    This map shows the states where a bachelor’s degree impacts your income the most. District of Columbia comes in number 1 with bachelor’s degree-holders earning over 109% more than high school graduates (or equivalent) with California a close second at just over 100% more than high school graduates while North Dakota rounds out the list with bachelor’s degree-holders earning only about 37% more than high school graduates.

    Where Does A College Degree Have The Biggest Impact On Your Income

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    #1  District of Columbia

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,756
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $62,267
    • Earnings difference:  $32,511
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   109.26%

    #2  California

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,963
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $56,010
    • Earnings difference:  $28,047
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   100.30%

    #3  Texas

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,232
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $51,701
    • Earnings difference:  $24,469
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   89.85%

    #4  New Jersey

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $32,207
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $61,128
    • Earnings difference:  $28,921
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   89.80%

    #5  Georgia

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,350
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $49,989
    • Earnings difference:  $23,639
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   89.71%

    #6  Virginia

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,303
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:   $55,509
    • Earnings difference:  $26,206
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   89.43%

    #7  Michigan

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,347
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $48,622
    • Earnings difference:  $22,275
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   84.54%

    #8  Illinois

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $28,850
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $52,080
    • Earnings difference:  $23,230
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    80.52%

    #9  New York

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $30,084
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $54,214
    • Earnings difference:  $24,130
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    80.21%

    #10  Maryland

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $33,584
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $60,287
    • Earnings difference:   $26,703
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   79.51%

    #11   Arizona

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,898
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $48,159
    • Earnings difference:   $21,261
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    79.04%

    #12   Connecticut

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $33,775
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $60,338
    • Earnings difference:   $26,563
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    78.65%

    #13   Alabama

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,132
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $46,434
    • Earnings difference:   $20,302
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    77.69%

    #14   Massachusetts

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $32,237
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $57,029
    • Earnings difference:  $24,792
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   76.91%

    #15  Ohio

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $28,203
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $49,281
    • Earnings difference:   $21,078
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   74.74%

    #16  North Carolina

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,059
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,377
    • Earnings difference:   $19,318
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   74.13%

    #17  Washington

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $31,011
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $53,802
    • Earnings difference:  $22,791
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   73.49%

    #18  Florida

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,275
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $43,371
    • Earnings difference:   $18,096
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   71.60%

    #19  Arkansas

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,767
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $44,101
    • Earnings difference:   $18,334
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    71.15%

    #20  Tennessee

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,990
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $44,289
    • Earnings difference:   $18,299
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   70.41%

    #21   South Carolina

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,698
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $43,712
    • Earnings difference:   $18,014
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   70.10%

    #22   Pennsylvania

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,692
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $50,170
    • Earnings difference:   $20,478
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    68.97%

    #23   New Mexico

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,747
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $43,257
    • Earnings difference:   $17,510
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    68.01%

    #24   Minnesota

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $30,662
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $51,329
    • Earnings difference:   $20,667
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   67.40%

    #25   Kentucky

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,518
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $44,249
    • Earnings difference:   $17,731
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    66.86%

    #26   Louisiana

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $28,300
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $47,115
    • Earnings difference:   $18,815
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   66.48%

    #27   Rhode Island

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $31,196
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $51,769
    • Earnings difference:  $20,573
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   65.95%

    #28   Delaware

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $30,981
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $51,156
    • Earnings difference:   $20,175
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    65.12%

    #29   Kansas

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,716
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,639
    • Earnings difference:   $17,923
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   64.67%

    #30   Oregon

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,514
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $43,452
    • Earnings difference:   $16,938
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   63.88%

    #31   Missouri

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,162
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $44,482
    • Earnings difference:   $17,320
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   63.77%

    #32   Idaho

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,140
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $40,843
    • Earnings difference:   $15,703
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   62.46%

    #33   Colorado

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $30,366
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $48,901
    • Earnings difference:   $18,535
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    61.04%

    #34   Wisconsin

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,904
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $47,339
    • Earnings difference:   $17,435
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   58.30%

    #35   Oklahoma

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,001
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $42,732
    • Earnings difference:   $15,731
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   58.26%

    #36   Indiana

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $28,846
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,632
    • Earnings difference:   $16,786
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    58.19%

    #37   Mississippi

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,954
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $40,952
    • Earnings difference:   $14,998
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    57.79%

    #38  New Hampshire

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $32,844
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $51,767
    • Earnings difference:   $18,923
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    57.61%

    #39   West Virginia

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,844
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $42,183
    • Earnings difference:   $15,339
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    57.14%

    #40   Iowa

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,615
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $46,382
    • Earnings difference:    $16,767
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    56.62%

    #41   Nebraska

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $28,325
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $44,255
    • Earnings difference:   $15,930
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   56.24%

    #42   Nevada

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,351
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,840
    • Earnings difference:   $16,489
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    56.18%

    #43   Maine

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $26,716
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $41,612
    • Earnings difference:   $14,896
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):   55.76%

    #44   Alaska

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $34,236
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $52,769
    • Earnings difference:   $18,533
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    54.13%

    #45   Utah

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,531
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,046
    • Earnings difference:   $15,515
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    52.54%

    #46   Montana

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $25,186
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $38,283
    • Earnings difference:   $13,097
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    52.00%

    #47   Hawaii

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $30,971
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $46,590
    • Earnings difference:   $15,619
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    50.43%

    #48   South Dakota

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $27,706
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $40,472
    • Earnings difference:   $12,766
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    46.08%

    #49   Wyoming

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $31,936
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $45,519
    • Earnings difference:   $13,583
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    42.53%

    #50   Vermont

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $29,566
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $41,109
    • Earnings difference:    $11,543
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    39.04%

    #51   North Dakota

    • Median Earnings of High School Graduates (or equivalent):           $31,691
    • Median Earnings of Workers with a Bachelor’s Degree:                   $43,555
    • Earnings difference:   $11,864
    • The percentage the Bachelor’s Degree earns more than the high school graduate (or equivalent):    37.44%

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