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These are the cities with the highest and lowest education in America: Study

Marc Sternfield and Ashleigh Jackson

4 hours ago

(KTLA) – A Midwestern city affectionately known as the “Land of Splendor” has been named the most educated city in America, according to a recent study by WalletHub.

The financial services company compared the 150 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States and rated them using a formula that took into account the proportion of adults with high school and college degrees and the quality of the public education system.


Differences between races and genders were also taken into account.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, ranked first for the second year in a row. More than 95 percent of residents ages 25 and older have a high school diploma, 57 percent have a bachelor’s degree and about 30 percent have an advanced degree – the highest rate in the country, according to the study.

“In addition, there is great equality in educational attainment in the metropolitan area, with the gap between the proportion of women and men who have at least a bachelor’s degree being only 1.9 percent,” noted Adam McCann, financial writer at WalletHub.

The study found that the San Jose metropolitan area in California is the second best education region in the U.S., while the Washington, DC area ranks third. The top 10 are below.

The 10 most educated cities in the US, according to WalletHub

Overall ranking Metropolitan region Educational attainment rank Educational quality and educational gap ranking
1 Ann Arbor, Michigan 1 4
2 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California 4 17
3 Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV 3 31
4 Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina 8th 1
5 Madison, Wisconsin 2 51
6 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California 6 19
7 Raleigh-Cary, NC 5 30
8th Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 11 6
9 Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH 7 60
10 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington 10 10
Source: WalletHub

On the other hand, the cities with the fewest educational attainment on WalletHub’s list are mostly in California and Texas. At the bottom of the rankings is Visalia, California, followed by McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.

The 10 least educated cities in the US, according to WalletHub

Overall ranking Metropolitan region Educational attainment rank Educational quality and educational gap ranking
141 Corpus Christi, Texas 139 131
142 Salinas, California 142 107
143 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 144 83
144 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 141 140
145 Stockton, California 145 92
146 Modesto, California 146 141
147 Bakersfield, California 147 120
148 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 149 91
149 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 150 80
150 Visalia, California 148 147
Source: WalletHub

Stephanie Helms Pickett is director of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging at Antioch University and an expert for WalletHub. She believes communities should examine how public education supports their local economy.

“Our country’s education model doesn’t take into account the different ways people learn, the way they process information, and what best fits not only their interests but their abilities,” says Pickett. “The most important step we can take as a country to build a better educated and skilled workforce is a partnership between higher education and industry — engaging local businesses in anticipating the skills needed and training people to meet those needs.”