Smartest Counties in NY New York Jobs Alice Jamieson CC BY NC ND

10 Smartest Places in New York

Inspired by recent analysis in Buffalo Business First, we profiled the most educated New York counties.

Let’s start with a look at the state, as a whole. New York has a reputation for being smart, fast, and on the move, but statewide educational attainment in New York sticks pretty close to the national average:

Our top ten counties, however, well exceed the national average:

CountyBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeProfessional School DegreeDoctorate Degree% College Grads
New York County371,182206,48687,01740,94858.87%
Tompkins County12,0269,9651,7394,97749.29%
Westchester County150,22296,81034,02213,89245.38%
Nassau County211,129118,79640,69311,78241.54%
Rockland County44,61926,5445,9313,17140.42%
Albany County41,60925,9276,6124,85238.83%
Putnam County14,9369,1131,56691238.40%
Saratoga County33,41018,0953,0732,62537.12%
Monroe County99,25359,27811,2198,05235.80%
Onondaga County57,66933,0857,1894,69733.10%

On raw numbers, advanced degrees cluster in population centers, especially surrounding colleges and universities. (This really should surprise no one; it’s a population heatmap.)

This doesn’t hold when you consider college graduates as a percentage of the population; New York county holds the top spot in either sort, but Tompkins County (for example) jumps from 9th on the list in raw numbers to 2nd in terms of college grads as a percentage of the population.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 smartest counties in New York:

New York County:


Tompkins County:

Westchester County:


Nassau County:

Rockland County:

 Albany County:

Putnam County:


Saratoga County:

Monroe County:


Onondaga County:

Featured Image Credit: alicejamieson, CC BY NC ND

Leave a Comment