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 depending on how well cities deal with the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on schooling.
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.
Most Educated Cities in USA
1 Ann Arbor, MI
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
3 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
4 Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
5 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
6 Madison, WI
7 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
8 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
9 Austin-Round Rock, TX
10 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
11 Colorado Springs, CO
12 Raleigh, NC
13 Provo-Orem, UT
14 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
15 Trenton, NJ
16 Portland-South Portland, ME
17 Tallahassee, FL
18 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
19 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
20 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
21 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
22 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
23 Lansing-East Lansing, MI
24 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
25 Lexington-Fayette, KY