Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue No. 9 best educated metro area in the U.S.

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is among the top 10 most educated metropolitan statistical areas in the country, according to a new report from WalletHub. The personal finance website ranked the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area at No. 9 on its list.

WalletHub determined its rankings of 150 metro areas in the country via 11 key metrics, including share of adults 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the quality of the public school system, and the gender education gap.

“Not all highly educated people will flock to the same areas, though,” WalletHub’s report states. “Some may prefer to have many people with similar education levels around them for socializing and career connections. Others may want to be a big fish in a little pond. Not every city will provide the same quality of life to those with higher education, either.”

The report goes on to note things could change: “In addition, the most educated cities could shift in the near future because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on schooling. During the pandemic, standardized test scores experienced sizeable drops, and score gaps between low-poverty and high-poverty districts increased.”

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area’s high ranking.

“The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area ranked among the top ten most educated cities,” she reiterated in an email to The Center Square. “The MSA has a large share of adults with at least some college experience or an associate degree or higher, almost 74%, the largest number of summer learning opportunities per capita, and ranks high in terms of education equality.”

Other metro areas in Washington made WalletHub’s list.

The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area along the Columbia River at the Oregon-Washington border was ranked No. 17. Vancouver is located in Washington, while Portland and Hillsboro are in Oregon.

“The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area ranks in the top twenty most educated cities,” Gonzalez noted. “It has large shares of adults with at least a high school diploma – 92.5%, and with at least some college experience or an associate degree or higher – 72.5%. The MSA also has a large number of summer learning opportunities per capita.”

Spokane in Eastern Washington made WalletHub’s list, too.

“The Spokane metro area ranks in the top half, at number 51,” Gonzalez said. “It also has large shares of adults with at least a high school diploma – 93.9%, and with at least some college experience or an associate degree or higher – 70%. Plus, the MSA ranks in the top ten for education equality.”

The 10 most educated cities in the U.S.:

1. Ann Arbor, Michigan

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, District of Columbia-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia

4. Madison, Wisconsin

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkley, California

6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire

7. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

8. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington

10. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas

The 10 least educated cities in the U.S.:

150: Visalia, California

149. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas

148. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas

147. Bakersfield, California

146. Modesto, California

145. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina

144. Stockton, California

143. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas

142. Ocala, Florida

141. Corpus Christi, Texas

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