Greater Seattle-area ranked ninth most educated in US

Jul 17, 2023, 10:30 AM | Updated: 10:56 am

Seattle skyline...

Seattle is the ninth most educated area of the country, according to a study by WalletHub. (AP photo)

(AP photo)

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is the ninth most educated in the country, according to a study by personal finance site WalletHub.

WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan areas using 11 key metrics. Its 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.

Greater Seattle fell just behind Raleigh-Cary, NC, and just ahead of the Greater Austin region in Texas. Seattle got an overall score of 76.09.

“Despite the continued push for more vocational training at U.S. colleges and universities, the true benefit of a college degree is the acquisition of numeracy and language skills, critical thinking, and broad knowledge that helps college graduates adapt to evolving careers, markets, and societal pressures,” said Professor Molly Martin at Penn State University. “Communities with a more highly educated population are likely better able to weather economic downturns.”

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To identify the most and least educated cities in America, WalletHub used two key dimensions, including “Educational Attainment” and “Quality of Education & Attainment Gap.”

It evaluated those dimensions using 11 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest educational attainment and quality of education.

Finally, WalletHub determined each metro area’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Source: WalletHub

On a side note, 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.

The top five cities are: Ann Arbor, MI; San Jose, CA; Washington, DC; the Bay Area, CA; and Madison, WI. The last five of the 150 urban areas studied are: Visalia, CA; Brownsville-Harlingen, TX; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX; Bakersfield, CA; and Modesto, CA.

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Greater Seattle-area ranked ninth most educated in US