Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Most Educated Places in America

NerdWallet, The Most Educated Places in America:

Certain cities in the U.S. have populations with higher levels of educational attainment than others. This often depends on what prominent industries are located in these places—cities that offer more technical occupational opportunities tend to draw more skilled and educated members of the labor force.

NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the most educated places in America. We looked at increasing levels of educational attainment among the populations of 1,990 places across the U.S., from residents with at least a high school diploma to those with a doctorate or professional degree. ... We calculated the overall score for each place by weighting the following factors:

  1. Percentage of population with at least a high school diploma or associate’s degree: 40% of the overall score.
  2. Percentage of population with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30% of the overall score.
  3. Percentage of population with a master’s degree: 10% of the overall score.
  4. Percentage of population with a doctorate degree: 10% of the overall score.
  5. Percentage of population with a professional degree: 10% of the overall score.


(Hat Tip: Bill Turnier.)

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Technically, Massachusetts were the original Romney voters;-) That being said, those four cities & towns listed (plus Cambridge at #12) are very, very blue. Only a few of Boston's wealthiest suburbs are reliably Republican, most notably Dover.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 7, 2014 4:20:19 PM

Record stock market, zero terrorist attacks on US soil, no selling of arms to Iran, all on top of a crappy hand dealt with by 30 years of conservative mismanagement. It takes a while to clean up the screw-ups of the teahadists.

PS- the people in states who voted for Bush, McCain, Romney speak worse English than the immigrant children that they're so paranoid about entering.

Posted by: Cent Rieker | Aug 7, 2014 12:04:10 PM


Posted by: Daniel | Aug 7, 2014 11:55:14 AM

Publius Novus, interesting...all but one of those states voted for Obama. Now, especially based upon his qualifications and performance, are they really smart?

Posted by: Woody | Aug 7, 2014 7:02:37 AM


Speaking in broad strokes, most of Boston's "old money" (i.e. 19th century or earlier) lives either in the city (Back Bay, Beacon Hill) or in the bucolic horse towns north of Boston - Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield, the back country of Ipswich, and so forth. To a lesser extent, they can be found in Milton and Dedham, which were basically Boston's first suburbs. But the western suburbs do not have a lot of old money, because they were mostly farmland before 1900. Weston in particular was neither here nor there before the Pike and 128 ran through it; now it is a town of 12,000 sq foot McMansions for the liberal venture capital and private equity partners (Dover is where the conservative VC and PE folk tend to wind up). For that matter, both Weston and Dover are adjacent to Wellesley and Newton.

And the biggest old money estate I can think of in the western suburbs is actually in Wellesley (the Hunnewell Estate). Yes, I am trading in anecdote and broad stereotypes, but it's what I have to go on.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 6, 2014 1:58:41 PM

UN-why do you find it curious that the "very wealthiest suburbs of Boston" are not among the most educated places? Why would the "very wealthiest," many or perhaps most of whom are the beneficiaries of inherited wealth, bother to pursue the higher levels of education? Why bother, when they can just spend the inherited wealth? Why do you associate the highest levels of wealth with the highest levels of education? How many degrees do you think Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian has?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 6, 2014 8:20:42 AM

Depends on your definition of small, Bert. Being from Massachusetts, I can relate that Wellesley has about 28,000 residents, Brookline has nearly 60,000 residents, and Newton has 85,000 residents. Cambridge, which clocks in at #12 on the list, has 105,000 and is the fifth-largest city in the state, behind Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell. Somewhat curiously, the very wealthiest suburbs of Boston - Weston, Dover, Concord, etc - are not to be found among the top 100 of this list.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 5, 2014 3:14:54 PM

They are all small towns, essentially suburbs, in some cases adjacent to each other. It would be more useful to do it by Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Posted by: Bert Lazerow | Aug 5, 2014 11:31:00 AM

First, not sure we can call North Carolina a blue or purple state just yet, although Chapel Hill is a beacon of blue in the center of the state. But good to see three of the cities I have lived or live in represented on the list. I must keep good company and am a glutton for paying high property taxes. :)

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 5, 2014 8:15:00 AM

Interesting. No red states at all.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 5, 2014 6:50:36 AM