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Most Educated Cities in the United States

Name the American cities where the highest percentage of adults have bachelor's degrees.
Includes cities with a population above 250,000
Census American Community Survey, 2011-2015 estimates
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedAugust 2, 2010
Last updatedAugust 27, 2018
Times taken38,837
Rating3.84
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%
City
58.9
Seattle
54.9
Plano
54.6
Washington, DC
53.8
San Francisco
48.2
Raleigh
47.9
Atlanta
47.4
Minneapolis
%
City
46.9
Austin
45.5
Portland
45.3
Boston
45.0
Denver
43.0
San Diego
42.9
Jersey City
41.3
Charlotte
%
City
41.2
Lexington
40.9
Chandler
39.3
St. Paul
39.1
Oakland
38.8
San Jose
38.3
Pittsburgh
+2
level 73
Jul 13, 2013
A few surprises on this list for me...Oakland, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh are surprises. And Salt Lake City not being on here is surprising as well.
+6
level 76
Jul 14, 2013
Oakland is not that surprising when you consider it is sandwiched between Berkeley (famous elite college town), San Jose (silicon valley), and San Francisco (the smuggiest city in America). If you go a little bit farther north to Richmond, CA and San Pablo you might start to have trouble finding college degrees, but around Oakland there are plenty.
Atlanta is also not at all surprising if you know how big the technology sector is there.
Pittsburgh is the one on the list that surprised me a little bit, but they are at the very bottom of the list, and as Scuadrado pointed out there are a bunch of smaller towns and cities that don't make it because they failed to make the population cut-off. 34.4% is actually well below the national average in the USA.
+2
level 76
Jul 14, 2013
^but most of those educated people live in suburbs and not in cities.
+4
level 72
Jul 15, 2013
oakland is pure ghetto...was very surprising to me...and jersey city? wtf...thought that was one big ghetto
+2
level 76
Jul 16, 2013
::shrug:: I used to live between Richmond and San Pablo. Oakland didn't surprise me. Though, again, they are actually below the national average. Most educated people in the United States do not live in the big cities- other than the first 10 or so on this list.
+4
level 44
Aug 7, 2014
The national average is only 30% for a 4-year degree. These cities are all above. And the trend is the OPPOSITE of what you say, kal. The educated are moving INTO the cities proper. The most vibrant downtowns are filled with the educated. Most of these cities have a strong institutional reason for so many educated in-city. Austin, Seattle, Minneapolis, Raleigh, Lexington all have big state research universities. Any city with grad schools is going to have a higher number, thus DC, Atlanta, Pittsburgh. The one that surprised me the most is Jersey City, but New Jersey has a long track record of having a really good thing going and not telling anyone about it.
+2
level 48
May 22, 2017
I live in the Oakland hills and it's not pure ghetto.
+2
level 69
Jul 28, 2017
Jersey City is a hotbed for young graduates who don't want to live in Manhattan. Just as close to downtown as Brooklyn.
+2
level 59
Jul 28, 2017
The Oakland hills are full of wealthy professionals, and the rest is being taken over by over-educated hipsters priced out of San Francisco and Berkeley.
+2
level 76
Sep 30, 2017
beet: I didn't say educated people were moving away from cities. I said that they don't live in cities. And that's still generally true, even if the current trend is the opposite of what has been happening for most of the past century. I may have been wrong about the average for degrees- maybe I was thinking of all degrees including 2 year degrees.
+1
level 54
Sep 30, 2017
Having been to Pittsburgh I was certain it would be on the list. I'm just surprised it wasn't higher.
+1
level 49
Jan 17, 2015
in pittsburgh they stop at the end of ramps, so they can't be that smart LOL
+2
level 76
Sep 30, 2017
In Saudi Arabia they stop in the middle of them and start driving in reverse.
+3
level 49
Jul 13, 2013
Sigh. My mental map of the USA has a big blob labeled "Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex", so I didn't think to try Plano. And it has another big blob labeled "San Francisco Bay Area", so I didn't think to try Oakland or San Jose. Stupid sprawling cities with named subdivisions.
+1
level 75
Sep 30, 2017
San Jose is older and larger than San Francisco, so I wouldn't call it a suburb. They are separate cities in the Bay Area. My problem was Minnesota. I tried Minneapolis but didn't think about trying St. Paul.
+1
level 48
Sep 30, 2017
In practice, San Jose is a suburb of San Francisco. It's silly, but it's how people think. This gives rise to absurdities such as the San Francisco Forty-Niners football team playing its home games at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara. Santa Clara is almost next door to San Jose, 49 miles south of The City. The National Hockey League Sharks play in San Jose and are called the San Jose Sharks......why not the San Jose 49ers? Also, the Oakland Athletics baseball team wanted to relocate to San Jose. No, the San Francisco Giants have territorial rights to professional baseball in San Jose True, historic San Francisco is being gentrified out of existence.
+2
level 18
Jul 13, 2013
Hah, two colorado cities on here, Colorado rocks.
+3
level 71
Sep 1, 2016
We are smart cookies, we Coloradans. :-)
+2
level 75
Sep 30, 2017
Apparently some of your cookies crumbled as there is only one Colorado city on the list now. :)
+1
level 45
Feb 17, 2018
try 4 California cities
+1
level 76
Jul 15, 2013
I have no problem with my comment from a month ago being deleted, just wish the same standard would be applied to comments from all users.
+1
level 27
Jul 28, 2013
What was your comment? I won't comment on it.
+2
level 67
Jul 28, 2017
If all comments from all users were deleted there wouldn't be any comments.
+1
level 76
Sep 30, 2017
don't remember
+1
level 76
Oct 1, 2017
Malbaby: is that what I said?
+4
level 66
May 3, 2014
I can't help but notice that there's only US cities in this "America's smartest cities" quizz. I can't believe the US outnumbers the whole continent on this matter.
+1
level 50
May 22, 2017
:D
+2
level 75
Sep 30, 2017
Here we go again.
+2
level 59
Sep 30, 2017
I wasn't sure whether this quiz was about the USA or all of America, so I checked the comments. Thanks for warning me, Miqueas!
+2
level 38
Jul 1, 2014
Huh. Newark is on the Lowest Educated Cities quiz, and Jersey City is on this one?
+2
level 51
Nov 24, 2016
lets go my state of NC with 3 on the board,
+2
level 73
Jul 27, 2017
Yep. I immediately put the cities in the Research Triangle first. I visited Raleigh for business a few months ago. I really liked it. Pretty nice area there.
+1
level 60
Dec 28, 2016
Surprised not to see any Canadian cities on here
+1
level 57
Jan 2, 2017
Why?
+3
level 50
May 22, 2017
Wait, so you're telling me Canada is in America?! This changes everything!
+1
level 73
Jul 27, 2017
Probably one of those Europeans who were taught that "America" was the continent and The United States was the country. Understandable mistake if that is the case.
+1
level 24
Sep 2, 2017
buck, assuming that some Europeans are taught that America was the continent and the USA was the country is wrong. Most countries in Europe don't even learn about the USA since it's on the other side of the ocean, so they learn about Eurasian History etc. Europeans only get taught about America during their last *years* at school, unless you're one of the lucky people who get taught by an American teacher and even in Canada, I didn't get taught about America (it was mentioned) but I had to learn about it myself.
+2
level 52
Sep 30, 2017
The mistake isn't on Europe's part...
+1
level 78
May 22, 2017
Shocked that Columbus is not on this list. It's college town with a huge student body and state capital of a large population state. So you end up with a large number of college graduates living there 1) getting graduate degrees, 2) not wanting to leave the college life 3) working for the state. Much like St. Paul, Minneapolis and Austin are and Madison would be if it was a little bit larger.
+1
level ∞
Jul 26, 2017
Columbus is a near miss at 34.2% ...


Ann Arbor is 71.9%.
+1
level 64
May 22, 2017
A bit USA-centric...
+1
level 63
Jul 26, 2017
Too US-centric!!!!
+1
level 48
Jun 18, 2017
Well done Plano!
+1
level 67
Jul 27, 2017
chandler all day busters
+1
level 72
Aug 1, 2017
Interesting that Washington, being 49% black and 43% white, still ranks third highest here.
+1
level 50
Sep 30, 2017
Got 13 from INDIA, Through never heard of Lexington, Plano, Chandler.
+1
level 67
Jul 31, 2018
I only know Lexington from Justified
+1
level 43
Mar 15, 2019
I live in chandler (Suburb of Phoenix AZ) so I of course guessed it
+1
level 42
Sep 30, 2017
I used to live in Allen, which is right next to plano, and I never knew it was the 2nd most educaded...
+1
level 38
Mar 18, 2018
You should also accept Minneapolis as St. Paul (they're basically the same city)
+1
level 34
Nov 13, 2018
How is Atlanta surprising?I live here and I don't know a single adult without a college degree.
+1
level 54
Dec 13, 2018
I got a total of one right. Hahaha. And really, I was trying!
+1
level 19
Feb 15, 2019
Yay Minnesota!
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