10 states with largest brain drains or gains

Small, rural states are hit hardest by college-educated graduates moving away, while the nation's capital is an outlier in its draw for grads from the rest of the country. 

The Washington Post published an analysis by economists at the University of North Carolina, the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago that uses LinkedIn to estimate how many college graduates remain in-state.

"While the District is an extreme outlier, it sets a pattern," The Post notes. "The other winners are primarily states with cities as large, dynamic and regionally vital as D.C. That would include New York, Washington, California, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, Minnesota and Massachusetts." 

Here are 10 states with the highest and lowest percentage difference between college grads produced in the state and college grads living there — the gain or loss in college graduates.

States with the largest brain gain 

1. Washington, D.C.: +302.7%
2. Colorado: +40.5% 
3. New York: +38.8% 
4. Washington: +34.9% 
5. California: +24.6%
6. Illinois: +20% 
7. Georgia: +14.5%
8. Texas: +10.4%
9. Minnesota: +7.8%
10. Massachusetts: +3.8% 

States with the largest brain drain

42. Iowa: -34.2% 
43. Delaware: -38.7%
44. Mississippi: -40.1%
45. Wyoming: -40.4%
46. Virginia: -41.8%
47. Kansas: -47.2% 
48. Rhode Island: -48.9% 
49. New Hampshire: -50.6%
50. West Virginia: -56.2%
51. Vermont: -57.5%

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