View Full Version : America's most and least educated cities, where do you fall?

07-30-2016, 12:07 PM


They may not always be the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but the college-educated third of Americans often have a leg up on their non-degree-holding peers. With more schooling, educated workers not only have access to better job opportunities and bigger salaries, but they also fill their cities’ coffers with the most tax dollars over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

One way to strengthen an economy, the EPI suggests, is to attract well-paying employers “by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers.” In states with the least schooled workforces, the median wage is $15 an hour compared with $19 to $20 an hour in states where 40 percent or more of the working population holds at least a bachelor’s degree. Local governments appear to be catching on and maximizing the appeal of their cities to college graduates.

As the fall semester draws near, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, to determine where the most educated Americans are putting their degrees to work. In order to make such a comparison, we examined each metro area across nine key metrics, ranging from the percentage of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to the educational attainment gap between women and men.

Topping the list yet again is Ann Arbor, Michigan. The city claims the highest percentage of associate degree holders or adults with some college experience, as well as the highest percentage of bachelor’s degree and graduate or professional degree holders. The Washington, D.C. metro area; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin round out the top five. Madison claims the highest percentage of high school diploma holders among its population while the San Jose metro area maintains the highest quality universities.

At the other end of the spectrum, McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission, Texas ranks as the least educated metro area in America, with among the lowest percentages of high school diploma holders, associate, bachelor, and graduate degree holders.Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas; Visalia-Porterville, Texas; Bakersfield, California; and Modesto, California round out the bottom five.

The list from the most educated to least:

1) Ann Arbor, MI
2) Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
3) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
4) Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
5) Madison, WI
6) Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
7) San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
8 Provo-Orem, UT
9) Austin-Round Rock, TX
10) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
11) Tallahassee, FL
12) Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
13) Trenton, NJ
14) Raleigh, NC
15) Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
16) Colorado Springs, CO
17) Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
18 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
19) Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
20) Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
21) San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
22) Portland-South Portland, ME
23) Eugene, OR
24 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
25 Lansing-East Lansing, MI
26 New Haven-Milford, CT
27) Huntsville, AL
28 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
29) Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
30) Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA
31) Honolulu, HI
32) Salt Lake City, UT
33) St. Louis, MO-IL
34) Anchorage, AK
35) Albuquerque, NM
36) Columbus, OH
37) New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
38 Tucson, AZ
39) Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
40) Rochester, NY
41) Kansas City, MO-KS
42) Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
43) Pittsburgh, PA
44) Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
45) Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN
46) Worcester, MA-CT
47 Lexington-Fayette, KY
48 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
49) Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY
50) Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
51) Manchester-Nashua, NH
52) Santa Rosa, CA
53) Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
54) Syracuse, NY
55) Columbia, SC
56) Richmond, VA
57) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
58 Reno, NV
59) Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA
60) Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
61) Asheville, NC
62) Charleston-North Charleston, SC
63) Boise City, ID
64) Cleveland-Elyria, OH
65) Ogden-Clearfield, UT
66) Oklahoma City, OK
67) Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
68 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
69) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL
70) Akron, OH
71) Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
72) Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
73) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
74) Savannah, GA
75) Dayton, OH
76) Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
77) Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
78 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
79) Birmingham-Hoover, AL
80) Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
81) Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
82) Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
83) Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
84) Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
85) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
86) Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
87) Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
88 New Orleans-Metairie, LA
89) Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
90) Jackson, MS
91) Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR
92) Toledo, OH
93) Jacksonville, FL
94) Springfield, MO
95) Peoria, IL
96) Springfield, MA
97) Tulsa, OK
98 Winston-Salem, NC
99) Wichita, KS
100) Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC
101) Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
102) Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
103) Greensboro-High Point, NC
104) Baton Rouge, LA
105) Fayetteville, NC
106) Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL
107) Fort Wayne, IN
108 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL
109) Montgomery, AL
110) San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
111) Knoxville, TN
112) Killeen-Temple, TX
113) Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
114) Memphis, TN-MS-AR
115) Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
116) Salem, OR
117) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
118 Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS
119) Port St. Lucie, FL
120) Flint, MI
121) Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
122) Salisbury, MD-DE
123) Chattanooga, TN-GA
124) Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
125) York-Hanover, PA
126) Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA
127) Shreveport-Bossier City, LA
128 Canton-Massillon, OH
129) Mobile, AL
130) Rockford, IL
131) Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
132) Lancaster, PA
133) Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA
134) Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
135) Corpus Christi, TX
136) Reading, PA
137) Stockton-Lodi, CA
138 Ocala, FL
139) El Paso, TX
140) Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
141) Salinas, CA
142) Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
143) Lafayette, LA
144) Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC
145) Fresno, CA
146) Modesto, CA
147) Bakersfield, CA
148 Visalia-Porterville, CA
149) Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
150) McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

How do you feel about this and where are you? I'm New York, New York.

07-30-2016, 12:19 PM
These sort of stats are always interesting, but reading a top 150 is quite exhausting.

I've googled the first ranked on the list, Ann Arbor, and it seems it has barely over 100 thousand people.

07-30-2016, 12:25 PM
JakeSully would be proud.

07-30-2016, 12:28 PM
JakeSully would be proud.
Haha yeah. Can't believe I didn't think this could be a thread by him :lol:

07-30-2016, 03:06 PM
I'm 132.. my posts truly show this.

07-30-2016, 04:31 PM
#37. Not too shabby.

07-30-2016, 06:41 PM
I notice a lot of Southern cities towards the bottom.

07-30-2016, 06:49 PM
#37. Not too shabby.

Nice. I'm lower on the list. Can't say I'm suprised though.

07-30-2016, 07:04 PM
Hm, I'm number 56. Guess that's okay. *shrugs*

07-30-2016, 07:09 PM
[mod edit by machias: Completely unnecessary.]

07-30-2016, 07:17 PM
All those California cities? Yeah, definitely.

07-30-2016, 08:01 PM
Hm... 82. Would've thought it'd be lower, but not a bad position though could be better.

07-30-2016, 08:26 PM
Not too shocking, but still a little disappointing???

My school district was pretty good as far as Texas schools go...DISD is a bit of a joke, though.

07-31-2016, 12:04 PM
Top ten, not bad.

07-31-2016, 01:21 PM
Top ten, not bad.

Same here. Feeling pretty good about my community... apparently it extends out into the 'burbs, too...

07-31-2016, 08:16 PM
Well I see my home town Huntsville, AL is quite high. 27.

Love being from a tech heavy city. Great education all around.

Zak The Neutrino
08-01-2016, 09:39 AM
My area of the state is not even on here. The closest city to me is number 5 on the list.

08-01-2016, 10:28 AM
48 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
Acceptable, provided the region keeps striving for better and doesn't slack off.

08-02-2016, 08:51 PM
The closest city in that list is #94. My school was much better than any from there though since it was a tourist town and the school had a huge budget. But yeah I can't say I would disagree much.

08-03-2016, 08:10 AM
Growing up:
124) Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
[lmao I've lived in Vegas, Henderson, and Paradise. Henderson was the best.]

9) Austin-Round Rock, TX
Or at least, that's the closest thing on the list. The place I live isn't even considered a town, it's like a census designated area or some ****.

08-03-2016, 05:17 PM
I fall typically onto furniture, occasionally the floor.

Andrew NDB
08-03-2016, 05:29 PM
#10, apparently.

Machias Banshee
08-03-2016, 07:38 PM
Right around number 6, not bad...

08-03-2016, 08:23 PM
I fall typically onto furniture, occasionally the floor.

08-04-2016, 05:27 AM
I'm guessing 10) is mostly on the Seattle side because we're naught but dumbasses here.

08-08-2016, 06:28 PM
#37. Not too shabby.

Gotcha by one ;)

Kidding of course. I'd be interested to see what this ranks and how it does so

(Maybe that long post says so, I'm just lazy right now)

08-08-2016, 08:25 PM
Gotcha by one ;)

Kidding of course. I'd be interested to see what this ranks and how it does so

(Maybe that long post says so, I'm just lazy right now)
Am I the only one that can't understand a word of and vaguely weirded out by this post

08-08-2016, 08:28 PM
He's wondering what the metrics are to rank the cities and how they measured them.

08-08-2016, 08:30 PM

how do you get that from that i legitimately don't understand or see it at all in there

08-09-2016, 01:27 AM

how do you get that from that i legitimately don't understand or see it at all in thereI got that as well. I figured that person was wondering what the criterion was and how the measurements were done. It was clear enough to me.

08-10-2016, 05:40 PM
#71 could be better but I'm not surprised. Our state has a habit of shoving all its money into the rich school districts and ignoring those with smaller incomes. Because heaven forbid all those rich kids can't get into the college they want based on mom and dad's donations.....

08-10-2016, 09:29 PM
Raised in the suburbs of Philly, so that makes me #48. Not too high, not too low, but just right! :tgrin:

08-11-2016, 08:36 AM
Man, Indiana's pretty far down on the list. I liked my school quite a bit for the most part though I received a better education in college.