The Value of College Varies Widely by State

In a previous post I looked at how the college wage premium varied by occupation. In this quick post I explore how the value of college depends on the state a person is in by creating thematic maps for the associates, bachelor’s, and advanced degree wage premiums. Like the last post I use data from the 2015 American Community Survey which can be found here. I also restricted the data set to workers at least 25 years old.

associates_premium_state_2015
The associates degree premium is defined as the average percentage increase in income from having an associates degree over a high school degree.
bachelors_premium_state_2015
The bachelor’s degree premium is defined as the average percentage increase in income from having a bachelor’s degree over a high school degree.
advanced_premium_state_2015
The advanced degree premium is defined as the average percentage increase in income from having an advanced degree over a bachelor’s degree.

I thought it was likely that much of what is driving the differences in the college premiums is differences in college attendance so I also made a thematic map based on the proportion of a state’s population that has at leas an associate’s degree.

pop_college_state_2015

 

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