The most popular bachelor's degrees in every state

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The most popular bachelor's degrees in every state

Census Bureau data shows 34.4% of adults age 25 to 34 have a bachelor’s degree. It’s also becoming more common for jobs to require a four-year degree. Among more than 800 careers tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 275 require at least a bachelor's degree. Those jobs are also higher paying. People with a bachelor’s degree earn $1,173 per week, compared to the $907 median weekly earnings for all workers. (We previously looked at the 10 highest paying jobs you can get with a bachelor's degree.)

To understand what college students are studying, we looked at data on the most popular bachelor’s degrees attained by adults age 25 and older in every state, including Washington, D.C. We used Census data, which look at broad degree categories, rather than specific majors. So a degree in business administration and international business would both fall into the category of “business” in the Census data.

A bachelor’s degree in business is the most popular by far. About 14.4 million people in the U.S. have a business degree, which is 20.3% of all people with a bachelor’s degree. In every state, business is either the first- or second-most popular field of study.

A business degree could also be handy later in life. More than one quarter of new entrepreneurs are between the ages of 55 and 64.

The second-most popular degree was in the field of education (8.6 million people nationally), followed by science and engineering related fields (6.8 million people across the country).

The least common field for a bachelor’s degree was in multidisciplinary studies, at just 516,502 people in the U.S. (0.7% of all people with a bachelor’s degree). The next least popular degrees were in physical sciences and communications. Both of those fields account for less than 4% of all people with a bachelor’s degree.

Alabama

  1. Business: 22.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 17.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Alaska

  1. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 13.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Business: 13.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: 11.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Arizona

  1. Business: 22.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Arkansas

  1. Business: 20.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 18.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.5% of bachelor's degree holders

California

  1. Business: 18.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Engineering: 10.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Social Sciences: 9.7% of bachelor's degree holders

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Colorado

  1. Business: 19.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 9.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Engineering: 8.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Connecticut

  1. Business: 19.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 10.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Social Sciences: 9.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Delaware

  1. Business: 22.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.3% of bachelor's degree holders

District of Columbia

  1. Social Sciences: 24.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Business: 13.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Liberal Arts and History: 7.6% of bachelor's degree holders

Florida

  1. Business: 24.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 13.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.7% of bachelor's degree holders

Georgia

  1. Business: 24.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.4% of bachelor's degree holders

Hawaii

  1. Business: 21.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.5% of bachelor's degree holders

Idaho

  1. Business: 17.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 11.4% of bachelor's degree holders

Illinois

  1. Business: 21.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.8% of bachelor's degree holders

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Indiana

  1. Business: 20.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 13.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Iowa

  1. Business: 20.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 18.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.4% of bachelor's degree holders

Kansas

  1. Business: 20.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 18.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.3% of bachelor's degree holders

Kentucky

  1. Business: 19.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 16.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 11.7% of bachelor's degree holders

Louisiana

  1. Business: 20.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 12.1% of bachelor's degree holders

Maine

  1. Business: 14.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 13.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.4% of bachelor's degree holders

Maryland

  1. Business: 17.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Social Sciences: 10.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Education: 9.6% of bachelor's degree holders

Massachusetts

  1. Business: 17.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Social Sciences: 9.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Education: 9.0% of bachelor's degree holders

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Michigan

  1. Business: 20.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 13.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 11.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Minnesota

  1. Business: 19.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 13.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Mississippi

  1. Business: 21.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 20.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 12.3% of bachelor's degree holders

Missouri

  1. Business: 22.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 11.0% of bachelor's degree holders

Montana

  1. Education: 17.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Business: 15.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: 12.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Nebraska

  1. Business: 22.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 17.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.8% of bachelor's degree holders

Nevada

  1. Business: 22.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.2% of bachelor's degree holders

New Hampshire

  1. Business: 18.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 11.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.1% of bachelor's degree holders

New Jersey

  1. Business: 22.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 10.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Engineering: 8.9% of bachelor's degree holders

New Mexico

  1. Business: 15.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.7% of bachelor's degree holders

New York

  1. Business: 19.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 11.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Social Sciences: 9.8% of bachelor's degree holders

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North Carolina

  1. Business: 20.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.5% of bachelor's degree holders

North Dakota

  1. Business: 20.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 16.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 15.0% of bachelor's degree holders

Ohio

  1. Business: 21.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 11.2% of bachelor's degree holders

Oklahoma

  1. Business: 22.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 19.4% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Oregon

  1. Business: 14.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Social Sciences: 10.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Education: 10.0% of bachelor's degree holders

Pennsylvania

  1. Business: 19.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.6% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.7% of bachelor's degree holders

Rhode Island

  1. Business: 20.7% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 11.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.0% of bachelor's degree holders

South Carolina

  1. Business: 21.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 15.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 9.8% of bachelor's degree holders

South Dakota

  1. Business: 19.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 19.3% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 12.7% of bachelor's degree holders

Tennessee

  1. Business: 23.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.3% of bachelor's degree holders

Texas

  1. Business: 23% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Engineering: 9.8% of bachelor's degree holders

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Utah

  1. Business: 19% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 14.1% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.0% of bachelor's degree holders

Vermont

  1. Business: 12.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 12.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Social Sciences: 10.1% of bachelor's degree holders

Virginia

  1. Business: 18.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Social Sciences: 10.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Education: 9.8% of bachelor's degree holders

Washington

  1. Business: 16.2% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Engineering: 10.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Education: 9.6% of bachelor's degree holders

West Virginia

  1. Education: 19.9% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Business: 19.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 13.8% of bachelor's degree holders

Wisconsin

  1. Business: 19.5% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Education: 16.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Science and Engineering Related Fields: 10.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Wyoming

  1. Education: 19.0% of bachelor's degree holders
  2. Business: 13.8% of bachelor's degree holders
  3. Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: 10.9% of bachelor's degree holders

Image: Hugo Barbosa