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5. Vermont
Vermont's outdoor scene is popular with residents seeking a work/life balance.

Residents with advanced degrees: 12.7% of population
Residents with some college education: 57.9%

Once students get to the Green Mountain State, they never leave.

"Vermont is a great place to live, and I think that what happens is when people come here to go to college, a lot of them choose to stay here," says Jo Bradley, CEO of the Vermont Economic Development Authority. "We have a great quality of life."

Schools like Middlebury, University of Vermont, Burlington College, and the Vermont State College system draw in both natives and migrants -- and the graduates that stick around don't typically go work for corporate behemoths. The state doesn't have a single Fortune 500 company headquartered within it.

"We are more the home-grown industry, with maybe 300 to 600 people working," Bradley says. "We don't have mega-factories."

The area is also eager to showcase its "highly motivated" workforce. When a company is looking to grow or expand in Vermont, that is "one of the things that we publicize," Bradley says.

NEXT: New Hampshire
Source: Workforce education rankings are from the Kauffman Foundation's 2010 State New Economy Index. Using U.S. Census Data, Kauffman created a weighted score reflecting four different education-level statistics for each state: the percentage of the population (age 25 and older) that has less than a high-school degree, some college, a Bachelor's degree, or a Master's or professional degree. The organization's state-by-state rankings reflect those weighted scores.
LAST UPDATE: Feb 24 2011 | 3:10 PM ET
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