Education Levels of Adults

Not Available

Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The number of residents with a particular level of education, expressed as a percentage of all residents 25 and older.

Why is this important?

An educated population makes a more attractive workforce and is better prepared to instruct the next generation of residents. High educational attainment represents a region's investment in human capital and preparation for long-term growth, as well as access to educational opportunities.

How is our region doing?

In 2014-18, 50% of adults in MetroWest had at least a bachelor's degree, up from 39% in 2000. That was substantially higher than the national rate of 32% and also above Massachusetts' rate of 43%. Only 7% of adults in the region lacked a high school diploma, while 22% were high school graduates and 21% had attended some college. These proportions were fairly similar to the state. The nation had higher percentages of people who attended some college (29%), were high school graduates (27%) or lacked diplomas (12%).

Within the region, Norfolk and Middlesex counties had similar levels of education, with more than 50% of residents holding college degrees; the share was lower in Worcester County, at 36%. The percentage of adults with at least a bachelor's degree was above 80% in Carlisle, Dover, Lexington, Sherborn, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston . The share of college degree-holders was lower in Bellingham, Milford and Worcester, all below 40%. Since 2000, Dedham and Millis saw the largest gains in their share of adults with college degrees (up by 18 and 16 percentage points, respectively).

Notes about the data

Adults are people 25 and older. The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval).

The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States32%27%12%29%
Acton town, Middlesex County76%8%3%**14%
Ashland town, Middlesex County60%19%4%**17%
Bedford town, Middlesex County71%9%**3%****17%
Bellingham town, Norfolk County33%30%5%**32%
Boxborough town, Middlesex County70%10%**4%******16%**
Carlisle town, Middlesex County84%3%****3%******10%**
Concord town, Middlesex County71%13%5%**11%
Dedham town, Norfolk County51%21%6%**22%
Dover town, Norfolk County82%6%****2%******10%**
Framingham city, Middlesex County47%24%10%19%
Franklin town, Norfolk County56%19%3%**22%
Groton town, Middlesex County66%14%**3%******17%
Harvard town, Worcester County63%15%**2%******19%
Holliston town, Middlesex County66%12%3%****20%
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County69%12%3%****16%
Hudson town, Middlesex County42%26%9%**23%
Lexington town, Middlesex County82%7%2%**9%
Lincoln town, Middlesex County75%7%****1%******17%**
Littleton town, Middlesex County55%20%2%****22%
Marlborough city, Middlesex County41%27%7%25%
Maynard town, Middlesex County52%20%4%****24%
Medfield town, Norfolk County72%9%**1%******17%
Medway town, Norfolk County58%16%5%**21%
Milford town, Worcester County37%26%10%27%
Millis town, Norfolk County54%19%3%******24%
Natick town, Middlesex County68%13%3%**16%
Needham town, Norfolk County75%11%2%**12%
Sherborn town, Middlesex County83%7%****1%******9%**
Southborough town, Worcester County66%14%3%****17%
Stow town, Middlesex County68%14%**1%******17%**
Sudbury town, Middlesex County79%9%1%******11%
Walpole town, Norfolk County52%20%5%**23%
Waltham city, Middlesex County53%20%8%19%
Wayland town, Middlesex County83%6%**2%******10%
Wellesley town, Norfolk County83%6%2%****9%
Westborough town, Worcester County67%16%3%**15%
Westford town, Middlesex County69%12%3%****16%
Weston town, Middlesex County82%9%**1%******7%**
Westwood town, Norfolk County70%11%3%****16%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Education Levels of Adults, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States68,867,05159,265,30826,948,05763,365,655
Acton town, Middlesex County12,3431,248479**2,245
Ashland town, Middlesex County7,4512,346531**2,076
Bedford town, Middlesex County6,897878**313****1,643
Bellingham town, Norfolk County4,0193,577619**3,840
Boxborough town, Middlesex County2,818407**146******652**
Carlisle town, Middlesex County3,052107****99******354**
Concord town, Middlesex County9,9341,764685**1,533
Dedham town, Norfolk County9,5593,9061,044**4,112
Dover town, Norfolk County3,132239****74******366**
Framingham city, Middlesex County24,37412,2104,9199,910
Franklin town, Norfolk County12,0764,005598**4,783
Groton town, Middlesex County5,1371,086**214******1,323
Harvard town, Worcester County3,006717**109******925
Holliston town, Middlesex County6,5941,161270****1,982
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County8,0261,387381****1,908
Hudson town, Middlesex County6,1193,8131,296**3,375
Lexington town, Middlesex County18,9151,625388**2,058
Lincoln town, Middlesex County3,485313****64******802**
Littleton town, Middlesex County3,8461,438175****1,581
Marlborough city, Middlesex County11,6177,7792,0647,220
Maynard town, Middlesex County4,1101,550338****1,847
Medfield town, Norfolk County5,758708**118******1,386
Medway town, Norfolk County5,2111,433422**1,867
Milford town, Worcester County7,4905,2401,9855,474
Millis town, Norfolk County3,1541,114157******1,399
Natick town, Middlesex County17,4493,319718**4,081
Needham town, Norfolk County15,2812,149458**2,362
Sherborn town, Middlesex County2,467220****23******259**
Southborough town, Worcester County4,370951213****1,101
Stow town, Middlesex County3,266687**33******808**
Sudbury town, Middlesex County9,8601,180143******1,353
Walpole town, Norfolk County8,9963,441870**3,922
Waltham city, Middlesex County22,4238,6513,3088,112
Wayland town, Middlesex County7,733513**146******926
Wellesley town, Norfolk County13,542948307****1,442
Westborough town, Worcester County8,7602,035374**1,904
Westford town, Middlesex County10,9541,899422****2,534
Weston town, Middlesex County6,242717**77******554**
Westwood town, Norfolk County7,5131,149334****1,756

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Adults are people 25 and older. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable