Historically, nonmetro areas in the United States have lagged behind metro areas in educational attainment, but they are catching up. High school completion, college attendance, and college completion in nonmetro areas rose over the 2000s. However, nonmetro areas still face a large gap compared with metro areas in the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher – 17.4 percent versus 30.2 percent. At least part of this gap reflects the higher pay highly educated workers can often earn in metropolitan labor markets.
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