Using Census data from the Minnesota Population Center’s 2013 American Community Survey Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, we found the most disproportionately popular job among Americans with less than a four year college degree in every state. These are jobs that are held by non-college graduates at a much higher rate in the state than in the country as a whole.
We explain that a little more at the bottom, but first here’s the map:
Note that this is not the most common job for non-college grads in every state: That honour goes to truck drivers in 34 states. Instead, we looked at jobs held by non-college grads at a much higher rate in each state than in the country as a whole. We focused on jobs with at least 1,000 residents with less than a bachelor’s degree and over the age of 25 employed in the state, since we wanted jobs that really are distinctively popular in each state.
The location quotient of a job compares the rate at which a job is held by non-college grads in a state to the overall national rate. For example, in Iowa, about 26,938 residents without a college degree and over the age of 25 worked as “farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers,” shortened to just “farm managers” on the map. A total of 909,374 non-college grads were employed in Iowa, so about 29.6 out of every 1,000 Iowan non-college grads were farm managers.
Meanwhile, 458,828 non-college grads over the age of 25 in the US as a whole worked as farm managers, out of a total of 81,514,802 employed Americans without college degrees over the age of 25. That means about 5.6 out of every thousand non-college grads were farm managers.
The location quotient for farm managers in Iowa is the ratio of these two rates: 29.6/5.6=5.26. The map shows the job in each state with the highest location quotient for non-college grads.
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