Ann Arbor, Michigan tops WalletHub’s Most Educated Cities List

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

WalletHub, the website dedicated to offering daily free credit scores and full credit reports, has released their annual list of the most and least educated cities in the United States.

Accounting for one-third of the population, citizens with a college education typically have access to better job opportunities and higher salaries, and, according to the Economic Policy Institute, pay the most taxes.

The EPI suggests that in order to strengthen the economy, well-paying employers are brought to an area "by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers." States with the least schooling for their workforce hold an average wage of $15 an hour, while states with at least 40% of the workforce having a bachelor's degree show an average wage of $19-$20 an hour.

In all, analysts for WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in order to find which have the highest educated Americans. Each metro area was examined across nine key metrics, from the percentage of adults age 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher to the educational achievement gap between women and men.

With a total score of 94.89, Ann Arbor, Michigan came in first place in terms of educational attainment and quality of education and attainment gap. This was closely followed by Washington, DC; San Jose, California; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Madison, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the bottom five cities include Modesto, California; Bakersfield, California; Visalia-Porterville, California; Brownsville, Texas; and Edinburg, Texas, writes Richie Bernardo for WalletHub.

Madison, Wisconsin came in first with the highest percentage of high school diploma holders, followed by Ann Arbor, Michigan and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The lowest percentage of high-school diploma holders were found in Visalia-Porterville, California; Brownsville, Texas; and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.

The highest percentage of associate's degree holders or college-experienced adults were found in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Provo-Orem, Utah; and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The three cities with the lowest percentage were, once again, Visalia-Porterville, California; Brownsville, Texas; and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.

In terms of bachelor's degree holders, the highest percentage were found in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Washington, DC; and San Jose, California. The lowest percentage were found in Brownsville, Texas; Bakersfield, California; and Visalia-Porterville, California.

The smallest racial gaps in educational attainment were found in Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Bernardino, California; and El Paso, Texas. Meanwhile, cities like Bridgeport, Connecticut; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Milwaukee, Minnesota all have some of the highest racial gaps in educational attainment.

Lastly, WalletHub looked into the gender gap in educational attainment, finding the smallest gap in places like Anchorage, Alaska; Fairfield, California; and Salinas, California. Meanwhile, the largest such gap was found in Naples, Florida. This was closely followed by Rochester, New York and Syracuse, New York.

The company explores other areas of interest in cities throughout the country, including the most and least stressed cities. With stress affecting more than 100 million Americans, whether it be from work, school, or from some other source, health problems and loss of productivity are increasing, with one estimate suggesting workplace stress alone is costing the country over $300 billion each year. Detroit, Michigan topped the list, while Fremont, California rounded out the bottom.

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