The American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” Dewey advocated for an educational paradigm called pragmatism, which stresses the importance of learning academic concepts by experiencing them firsthand, instead of through lectures and repetition in a classroom.

While the philosophy is used by many educators (especially those working in fields where the value of work experience exceeds the value placed on an academic background), many people take great pride in their formal educational credentials because of the valuable skills such educations provided and because of the immense amount of work that goes into earning a degree.

| Check out more lists and rankings from across Tennessee

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most college graduates in Tennessee using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percent of the population 25 years and over that has a Bachelor’s degree or higher using 2020 5-year estimates.

Keep reading to see which counties in your state have the most college graduates.

GamblinMonkey // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Dyer County

– 18.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 14.3% ($23,759 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 36.0% ($30,704)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.2% ($36,294)
– Bachelor’s degree: 11.5% ($52,392)
– Graduate or professional degree: 7.0% ($60,455)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Carroll County

– 18.7% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.8% ($22,159 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 42.8% ($28,466)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 25.6% ($30,806)
– Bachelor’s degree: 11.5% ($37,591)
– Graduate or professional degree: 7.3% ($49,132)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#28. DeKalb County

– 18.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 20.5% ($24,030 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 38.2% ($31,920)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 22.3% ($38,264)
– Bachelor’s degree: 12.5% ($43,750)
– Graduate or professional degree: 6.4% ($52,527)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Roane County

– 19.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 10.2% ($15,915 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 37.8% ($28,279)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 33.0% ($36,832)
– Bachelor’s degree: 11.4% ($53,621)
– Graduate or professional degree: 7.7% ($57,282)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Lincoln County

– 19.1% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 15.1% ($23,098 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 41.5% ($34,884)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 24.2% ($35,569)
– Bachelor’s degree: 11.7% ($62,225)
– Graduate or professional degree: 7.5% ($57,047)

Daniel Hartwig from San Mateo, CA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Moore County

– 19.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 13.6% ($38,833 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 42.1% ($31,522)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 24.9% ($46,615)
– Bachelor’s degree: 15.3% ($60,388)
– Graduate or professional degree: 4.1% (earnings not available)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Weakley County

– 19.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.7% ($25,694 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 44.1% ($30,189)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 23.3% ($32,713)
– Bachelor’s degree: 11.6% ($39,440)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.2% ($47,966)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Robertson County

– 20.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.7% ($32,271 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 39.1% ($32,480)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 27.8% ($39,823)
– Bachelor’s degree: 14.6% ($49,697)
– Graduate or professional degree: 5.8% ($58,836)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Cheatham County

– 20.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 13.4% ($25,842 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 38.8% ($35,826)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 27.3% ($38,452)
– Bachelor’s degree: 13.7% ($52,372)
– Graduate or professional degree: 6.8% ($67,473)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Franklin County

– 20.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 11.9% ($26,977 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 42.1% ($29,871)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 25.2% ($35,213)
– Bachelor’s degree: 12.4% ($42,250)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.4% ($63,793)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Coffee County

– 21.2% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 13.1% ($22,408 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 38.3% ($29,733)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 27.5% ($34,731)
– Bachelor’s degree: 12.9% ($46,053)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.3% ($54,048)

Thomas R Machnitzki (thomas@machnitzki.com) // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Fayette County

– 22.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.2% ($33,538 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 33.4% ($32,163)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.9% ($42,111)
– Bachelor’s degree: 14.6% ($61,757)
– Graduate or professional degree: 7.9% ($75,181)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Anderson County

– 22.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 11.4% ($25,047 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 34.3% ($31,346)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.5% ($35,482)
– Bachelor’s degree: 12.5% ($46,199)
– Graduate or professional degree: 10.3% ($65,288)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Bradley County

– 23.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.9% ($21,766 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 32.3% ($30,986)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.3% ($34,287)
– Bachelor’s degree: 14.8% ($42,862)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.7% ($57,434)

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#16. Maury County

– 24.0% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 9.6% ($27,606 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 34.8% ($31,227)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.6% ($39,442)
– Bachelor’s degree: 16.0% ($49,242)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.0% ($59,517)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Sullivan County

– 24.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 12.5% ($22,041 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 34.1% ($27,562)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 28.8% ($32,138)
– Bachelor’s degree: 15.8% ($43,389)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.7% ($60,806)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Blount County

– 24.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 10.6% ($21,494 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 35.4% ($32,307)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 29.4% ($36,207)
– Bachelor’s degree: 15.5% ($48,918)
– Graduate or professional degree: 9.1% ($60,133)

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#13. Madison County

– 25.9% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 11.5% ($25,492 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 34.4% ($30,220)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 28.2% ($32,077)
– Bachelor’s degree: 16.0% ($44,545)
– Graduate or professional degree: 9.9% ($58,540)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Putnam County

– 26.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 11.8% ($21,635 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 37.6% ($29,759)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 24.2% ($32,326)
– Bachelor’s degree: 15.7% ($44,568)
– Graduate or professional degree: 10.7% ($50,129)

Scott Basford // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Loudon County

– 27.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 13.0% ($27,255 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 30.6% ($30,528)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 29.2% ($34,522)
– Bachelor’s degree: 17.9% ($46,456)
– Graduate or professional degree: 9.4% ($68,458)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Sumner County

– 28.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 9.7% ($28,310 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 30.3% ($34,479)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 31.4% ($37,771)
– Bachelor’s degree: 19.7% ($54,982)
– Graduate or professional degree: 8.9% ($64,833)

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#9. Montgomery County

– 29.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 6.7% ($19,466 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 27.1% ($32,848)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 36.7% ($37,087)
– Bachelor’s degree: 19.0% ($46,597)
– Graduate or professional degree: 10.4% ($56,688)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Washington County

– 32.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 10.4% ($24,046 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 29.5% ($27,659)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 27.8% ($33,072)
– Bachelor’s degree: 18.7% ($48,260)
– Graduate or professional degree: 13.6% ($63,389)

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#7. Shelby County

– 32.4% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 10.9% ($22,168 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 27.3% ($27,358)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 29.4% ($33,480)
– Bachelor’s degree: 19.3% ($51,197)
– Graduate or professional degree: 13.0% ($69,645)

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#6. Rutherford County

– 32.6% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 7.6% ($28,678 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 27.8% ($35,809)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 32.0% ($40,168)
– Bachelor’s degree: 22.9% ($49,897)
– Graduate or professional degree: 9.7% ($59,816)

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Hamilton County

– 33.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 9.7% ($21,743 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 26.2% ($29,364)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 30.7% ($34,799)
– Bachelor’s degree: 21.5% ($52,279)
– Graduate or professional degree: 11.8% ($63,815)

Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Wilson County

– 34.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 8.0% ($31,224 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 28.1% ($37,187)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 29.1% ($42,815)
– Bachelor’s degree: 23.4% ($58,066)
– Graduate or professional degree: 11.3% ($65,553)

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#3. Knox County

– 38.8% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 8.1% ($22,086 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 24.7% ($29,393)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 28.4% ($36,195)
– Bachelor’s degree: 23.5% ($51,090)
– Graduate or professional degree: 15.3% ($65,229)

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#2. Davidson County

– 43.3% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 10.3% ($25,012 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 21.4% ($30,427)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 25.0% ($36,392)
– Bachelor’s degree: 27.3% ($50,453)
– Graduate or professional degree: 16.0% ($63,145)

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#1. Williamson County

– 60.5% of population 25 years and over with Bachelor’s degree or higher

– Less than high school diploma: 4.8% ($25,410 median earnings)
– High school graduate: 13.0% ($37,575)
– Some college or Associate’s degree: 21.7% ($44,115)
– Bachelor’s degree: 38.1% ($70,751)
– Graduate or professional degree: 22.4% ($92,454)