How does academic achievement vary across the US? While stereotypes and prejudices invariably exist, the only way to the answer that question is with some cold, hard data. Here it is.
Thanks to the Census Bureau's new interactive data-mapping tool, Atlantic has taken a look at how educational achievement varies across the country. Above is a map showing the percentage of adults over 25 who have either earned a high school diploma or finished an equivalency program across each county of each state. The darker the region, the higher the graduation rate. The pale streak stretching from the Mason Dixon line through to Texas is affectionately referred to as the "Southern dropout belt".
There's also a map, below, which maps the concentration of people with Bachelor's degrees. Obviously, there's a massive concentration on the east coast, in major urban centers, and in Colorado. Nationally, 31 percent of American adults have a bachelor's degree—but across many counties actually fewer than one in five graduated from college. Interesting.
Also? Way to go, Colorado. You're a real beacon for the midwest.