The Growth of Colleges in America

eCollegeFinder is back with new map, this time it’s in motion!  Late in 2014, we stumbled across Flowing Data’s map showing “The Growth of Walmart”, which Excel Hero recreated using a simple Excel workbook.  We found the map to be mesmerizing and immensely informative, telling the story of Walmart in such a simple fashion.  So much so, that we decided to recreate a similar map of our own, this time looking at “The Growth of Colleges in America”.

Our team downloaded a full list of colleges and universities in the United States that offer 4-year degrees from the National Center for Education Statistics.  We then manually searched for each college’s founding date and latitude/longitude, finishing with a list of 2,068 schools!  Using Excel Hero’s workbook, we uploaded our data to create this awesome map showing where and when colleges were founded.  With a little beautification and hard work, eCollegeFinder is proud to present “The Growth of Colleges in America”!

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Some notable dates and observations:

First College: Harvard University founded in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  It was another 57 years before the College of William and Mary, the nation’s 2nd college, was founded in 1693.

First 4-year College west of the Mississippi: Centenary College of Louisiana founded in 1825 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

First 4-year College on the West Coast: Willamette University founded in 1842 in Salem, Oregon.

Top 5 Years for Colleges:

  • 1891 – 33 colleges founded
  • 1889 – 31 colleges founded
  • 1946 – 30 colleges founded
  • 1965 – 30 colleges founded
  • 1890 – 26 colleges founded

Most recent 4-year college founded: Middle Georgia State College founded in 2013 in Macon, Georgia.

Please let us know if don’t see your college on the map!

For those who are more info GIFs, no worries, we got that too!

ECF - College Founding Dates

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Sources: Wikipedia, GPS Coordinates, Excel Hero, National Center for Education Statistics