A new study revealed that Arizona college graduates earn $24,924 per year more than those without degrees.

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That’s according to Career.io who analyzed U.S. Census data to find the salary premiums for college graduates across America: https://career.io/career-advice/where-college-graduates-earn-the-biggest-salary-in-the-us

They found that having a degree in Arizona can net an extra +64.66% on the salary for Arizona college graduates.

For every state and the 1,000 most populated cities in the U.S., Career.io used Census data to calculate the percentage difference between the median earnings of local college graduates and high school graduates over the age of 25.

Key Findings

  • In California, college graduates make 96.56% ($37,181) more than workers without degrees – the biggest salary premium of any state.
  • College graduates in Hoboken, New Jersey earn 305.63% ($81,478) more than local workers without degrees, the biggest wage gap of any city.
  • The typical college graduate in Gary, Indiana earns $18,750 less (-50.22%) than someone who hasn’t been to college, the biggest negative premium of any city.
  • Female graduates earn the biggest salary premium over their non-degree counterparts in Edina, Minnesota (390.29% or $54,059); male graduates do so in Johns Creek, Georgia (341.92% or $89,444).

The Methodology Behind This Study

To determine where college graduates earn the biggest salary premium in the United States, Career.io focused on the 1,000 most populated U.S. cities and each U.S. state.

For each city and U.S. state, they used the U.S. Census American Community Survey (2022) to discover the median earnings in the past 12 months (inflation-adjusted) for the population aged 25 years and over among High School Graduates, High School Graduate Males, High School Graduate Females, Bachelor’s Degree Holders, Bachelor’s Degree Holding Males, and Bachelor’s Degree Holding Females.

The Career.io team calculated the percentage difference in earnings for each location between high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders. they repeated this analysis for male and female high school graduates vs. bachelor’s degree holders of the same gender.

After that, the study ranked the cities, cities per state, and states based on having the highest salary premium (%) for bachelor’s degree holders.

The analysis of this data is correct as of February 2024.