The Most & Least Educated Cities in America

David Worley Fannie Mae EducationRecently, the financial site WalletHub decided that they were interested in discovering the most and least educated cities in America.  To figure out this information, the site took a look at the 150 largest metro areas in the US, and then ranked them according to 9 different metrics, including percentage of adult residents with high school diplomas and various degrees, the number of doctors per capita, the percentage of workers with computer/engineering/science fields, the quality of public schools and the number of students enrolled in the top 200 universities in the US per capita.

According to the report, skilled workers who also hold degrees usually pump the most money into their local economies over time.  According to the list, the overall “best educated” city was Ann Arbor, but as the city with the highest percentage of “college-experienced adults or associate’s degree holders”, the highest percentage of bachelor’s degree holders and the highest percentage of graduate or professional degree holders.  This is hardly surprising, since Ann Arbor is also a major college town.  Second place goes to Raleigh, NC, with third going to its neighbor, Durham.  Rounding out the top five are Provo, UT and Manchester, NH.  Each of these cities hosts major universities; Raleigh-Durham is close to UNC Chapel Hill, Provo is the home of Brigham Young University and Manchester hosts 8 different colleges.

The least educated city in America, according to the report, is Beaumont, TX, with one of the lowest percentages of bachelor’s degree holders as well as graduate or professional degree holders, and one of the lowest numbers of doctors per capita.  The other four “least educated” towns are Salinas, CA, Rockford, IL, Brownsville, TX and Modesto, CA.  This is hardly surprising, as most of these areas aren’t as wealthy as other parts of the country, and while some of them do host colleges, none of these towns are known as college towns.