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 in every state among Americans with less than a four-year college degree. 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 honor 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 filled by at least 1,000 residents with less than a bachelor’s degree who were over the age of 25, 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 1,000 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.