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Monday, July 18, 2022

Most & Least Educated Cities in America

By Adam McCannJuly 18, 2022

most least educated cities in america

Cities want to attract highly educated workers to fuel their economic growth and tax revenues. Higher levels of education tend to lead to higher salaries. Plus, the more that graduates earn, the more tax dollars they contribute over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In turn, educated people want to live somewhere where they will get a good return on their educational investment. People also tend to marry others of the same educational level, which means that cities that already have a large educated population may be more attractive to people with degrees.

Not all highly educated people will flock to the same areas, though. Some may prefer to have many people with similar education levels around them for socializing and career connections. Others may want to be a big fish in a little pond. Not every city will provide the same quality of life to those with higher education, either. In addition, the most educated cities could shift in the near future because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on schooling. During the pandemic, standardized test scores experienced sizeable drops, and score gaps between low-poverty and high-poverty districts increased.

To determine where the most educated Americans are putting their degrees to work, WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across 11 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to the quality of the public-school system to the gender education gap.

Main Findings

Ann Arbor, MI1
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA2
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV3
Madison, WI4
San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA5
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH6
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC7
Raleigh-Cary, NC8
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA9
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX10
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT11
Provo-Orem, UT12
Colorado Springs, CO13
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO14
Trenton-Princeton, NJ15
Portland-South Portland, ME16
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA17
Tallahassee, FL18
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI19
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY20
Huntsville, AL21
San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA22
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD23
Lexington-Fayette, KY24
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA25
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA26
Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT27
Asheville, NC28
Urban Honolulu, HI29
Lansing-East Lansing, MI30
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI31
Eugene-Springfield, OR32
Pittsburgh, PA33
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA34
Salt Lake City, UT35
Richmond, VA36
Manchester-Nashua, NH37
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD38
Rochester, NY39
Kansas City, MO-KS40
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA41
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC42
New Haven-Milford, CT43
Tucson, AZ44
St. Louis, MO-IL45
Columbus, OH46
Albuquerque, NM47
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN48
Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA49
Boise City, ID50
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA51
Worcester, MA-CT52
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC53
Charleston-North Charleston, SC54
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA55
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN56
Anchorage, AK57
Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY58
Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI59
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL60
Syracuse, NY61
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA62
Reno, NV63
Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI64
Naples-Marco Island, FL65
Columbia, SC66
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN67
Springfield, MA68
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL69
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR70
Dayton-Kettering, OH71
Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ72
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX73
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI74
Jacksonville, FL75
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL76
Akron, OH77
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA78
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL79
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR80
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA81
Birmingham-Hoover, AL82
Savannah, GA83
Oklahoma City, OK84
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL85
Cleveland-Elyria, OH86
Ogden-Clearfield, UT87
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX88
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA89
Knoxville, TN90
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA91
Jackson, MS92
Wichita, KS93
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN94
Greenville-Anderson, SC95
Springfield, MO96
Peoria, IL97
New Orleans-Metairie, LA98
Montgomery, AL99
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ100
Greensboro-High Point, NC101
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL102
Toledo, OH103
Memphis, TN-MS-AR104
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX105
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL106
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC107
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL108
Fort Wayne, IN109
Tulsa, OK110
Winston-Salem, NC111
Chattanooga, TN-GA112
Baton Rouge, LA113
Fayetteville, NC114
Salisbury, MD-DE115
Salem, OR116
Port St. Lucie, FL117
Killeen-Temple, TX118
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC119
Vallejo, CA120
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL121
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV122
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS123
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA124
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA125
Lancaster, PA126
Flint, MI127
Canton-Massillon, OH128
York-Hanover, PA129
Reading, PA130
Rockford, IL131
Mobile, AL132
Lafayette, LA133
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA134
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH135
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA136
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL137
El Paso, TX138
Fresno, CA139
Salinas, CA140
Corpus Christi, TX141
Ocala, FL142
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX143
Stockton, CA144
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC145
Modesto, CA146
Bakersfield, CA147
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX148
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX149
Visalia, CA150

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau,, Education, Yelp and WalletHub research.

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