According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 52.7% of Seattle’s 25-and-over residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making Seattle the most-educated city in the United States.
Here are the top 5 most-educated U.S. cities based on this year’s data:
- Seattle, WA
- San Francisco, CA
- Raleigh, NC
- Washington, DC
- Austin, TX
The article linked above provides some interesting analysis on why these cities top the list (high-tech industries & nearby universities) and how the virtuous cycle created by successful employers who attract an educated workforce which boosts the local economy and allows the employers to bring more educated talent into the area.
There is always a cost to being at the top. The downside for living in the most-educated cities is our favorite friend, Cost of Living. (Don’t let the “no state income tax” fool you.) These same cities ranked in the exact same order in last year’s data as well. This reinforces the idea that education is a gift that keeps on giving while the lack of education creates inertia that is difficult to overcome.
Sadly, most would agree Seattle is just the best of the worst since the U.S. doesn’t rank anywhere near the top 5 in most-educated nations using any metric. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m sure we’d kick butt on a multiple choice test about pop culture. Did you hear Nicole Richie can’t weight? (That was wrong. She’s suffering. I’m sorry. Get whale soon, Nicole!)