In Indiana, college graduates are more likely to live in the same areas, which boosts employment and economic opportunities, according to a new Ball State study.
It's commonly known that the higher education a person has, the more they earn. But these more educated people are also clumping together in where they live, according to the study from Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research, "The relationship between educational attainment and wages."
Nathan Law, a graduate assistant with CBER and author of the study, said over the past year, the center has been asked about the relationship between wages and educational attainment.
In Indiana, this positive relationship between the two is shown by five of the top 10 highest-earning counties in the state also having the most educated populations.
This is no coincidence, according to the study. Those with higher education levels tend to be about 40 percent more productive than non-college graduates, according to the study, so employers are willing to pay them them more.
"As a result, higher educational attainment has long been associated with higher earned income," the study said.
Hamilton County has the highest percentage of college-educated residents and the highest per-capita income. Boone, Hendricks, Johnson and Warrick counties also appear on both lists.
And the same applies for the counties who have less college graduates. Five out of the bottom 10 counties appear both on the list of the least amount of college graduates and lowest per-capita income.
"A college degree is increasingly becoming a necessity to secure a well-paying job in today’s job market," the study says. "Areas with well-educated populations are more enticing to employers which leads to additional job creation. These factors should be considered when creating and implementing education policies and economic development policies throughout Indiana."