The Most Educated Places in America

Studies
The Most Educated Places in America

Many cities might think they have the most skilled workforce or smartest residents. That can’t be measured, but we can discover which are the most educated cities and other places in America.

College towns surprisingly don’t dominate our list even though new grads often decide to stay and launch their careers in the city where they went to school.

To find the most educated places, NerdWallet analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data on the educational levels of residents in over 2,000 places. See the methodology section at the end of this article for more details.

High school and college graduation factor more heavily in our rankings than other levels of education because these are the two most common levels achieved. About 86% of Americans 25 years or older have at least graduated from high school, and 29% hold at least a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, only 8% of Americans have a master’s degree, 2% hold professional degrees and 1% have doctorates.

Key findings

Spoiler alert: East Coast wins. There were more places in Maryland and Massachusetts than in any other state in the top 20.

Silicon Valley is brainy, too. Cities such as Palo Alto, Cupertino and Menlo Park all ranked in the top 20, thanks to concentrations of tech workers at companies such as Apple and Facebook.

Holding steady. Seven places from last year’s list remained in the top 10. As well, the percentages of residents with at least a high school diploma increased from 11% in some places and up to 20% in other cities.

Most educated places in America

1. Bethesda, Maryland

For the third year in a row, Bethesda has earned the top spot of all educated communities on our list. Nearly 99% of residents over 25 years old have at least a high school diploma or an associate degree, and 81% hold at least a bachelor’s degree. As the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health, Lockheed Martin, other companies and government agencies, this community is home to professionals in fields such as biomedicine and engineering.

2. Brookline, Massachusetts

In this town that’s a hub for colleges, 13.8% of people hold professional degrees, the third-highest percentage on our list. The city is located in the heart of the Boston metropolitan area close to Boston College and Boston University, with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology nearby. Brookline features industries specializing in technical expertise, such as medical centers, and community enrichment programs at Boston College Neighborhood Center.

3. Potomac, Maryland

About 13 miles from the center of Washington, D.C., Potomac is home to government officials, scientists and other specialists who commute to the capital. The community places highly on our list because at 15.4% it has the second-highest percentage of people with professional degrees. Potomac also includes some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the U.S.

4. Palo Alto, California

Home to Stanford University and its research centers, Palo Alto is a breeding ground for intellectuals with 80% of residents having earned at least a bachelor’s degree. The city is also headquarters of Silicon Valley companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Tesla Motors and Skype. Students at Palo Alto’s public schools are top performers, with 92% of graduates attending college.

5. McLean, Virginia

Like Potomac, McLean is home to many Washington, D.C., commuters, including members of Congress and other government officials. Major corporations, such as Hilton WorldWide and Capital One, are based here. Nearly 81% of residents, the third highest on our list, have earned bachelor’s degrees. This Virginia community is close to a host of universities in the capital area.

6. Princeton, New Jersey

You don’t need to look any further than this city’s name to know its connection to education. Princeton University is a member of the Ivy League, and at least three dozen Nobel Prize winners are on the faculty. Princeton is home to the highest percentage of residents with doctorates, 16%, on our list. Its public school district ranked seventh on NerdWallet’s Best School Districts for Your Buck in New Jersey, which considered students’ high average SAT scores, 93% graduation rate and other factors.

7. Newton, Massachusetts

Located about seven miles west of downtown Boston, Newton is a suburb with a strong mix of academic experts and medical practitioners. Boston College, MIT and Harvard are all nearby, as are Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The proximity to these medical centers contributes to Newton’s relatively high percentage of residents with a professional degree. Newton also is the location of the Peabody Award-winning New England Cable News.

8. Lexington, Massachusetts

Although fewer than 32,000 people live in this community, 97% graduated from high school and 14% went on to get a doctorate. Two of its public schools, Bridge Elementary and Jonas Clarke Middle School, have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a program that honors high-performing schools. Cambridge, which MIT and Harvard call home, is nearby.

9. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

About 95% of residents in Chapel Hill have at least a high school diploma and 76% have earned a bachelor’s degree, which is due in large part to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Medical students and professionals come to the area for UNC Health Care, a state-owned system of hospitals with ties to the university’s school of medicine. The city is also part of the Research Triangle that also includes Durham, with its Duke University, and Raleigh, the location of North Carolina State University.

10. Cupertino, California

This Silicon Valley city is the headquarters of Apple, which means it’s home to engineers and other tech professionals. About 31% of the residents have a master’s degree, which is the highest percentage of any city on this list.

100 most educated places in America

Scroll through this table to see the data on the 100 most-educated places in the U.S.

Rank City Residents with a high school diploma or associate degree Residents with a bachelor’s degree Residents with a master’s degree Residents with a doctorate Residents with a professional degree Score
1 Bethesda, Maryland 98.5% 81.1% 27.4% 10.7% 15.6% 95.45
2 Brookline, Massachusetts 97.2% 80.0% 25.4% 13.4% 13.8% 94.03
3 Potomac, Maryland 97.8% 80.8% 26.7% 9.7% 15.5% 93.92
4 Palo Alto, California 97.6% 79.9% 28.7% 13.4% 9.3% 92.45
5 McLean, Virginia 98.1% 80.8% 29.0% 7.4% 13.4% 92.12
6 Princeton, New Jersey 95.4% 79.6% 28.5% 16.2% 8.3% 91.97
7 Newton, Massachusetts 97.4% 76.6% 26.1% 10.9% 12.0% 90.37
8 Lexington, Massachusetts 97.1% 76.1% 29.5% 14.1% 7.7% 90.36
9 Chapel Hill, North Carolina 95.8% 76.5% 24.3% 14.2% 8.2% 88.43
10 Cupertino, California 96.8% 76.7% 31.0% 8.0% 4.0% 84.72
11 Cambridge, Massachusetts 93.4% 74.0% 25.8% 12.0% 6.5% 83.99
12 Upper Arlington, Ohio 98.5% 73.6% 17.6% 6.7% 10.2% 83.42
13 Davis, California 95.3% 70.2% 19.3% 12.9% 8.2% 83.24
14 Ann Arbor, Michigan 96.3% 70.4% 24.4% 10.9% 6.4% 83.24
15 Boulder, Colorado 96.5% 73.6% 23.7% 9.6% 5.1% 82.68
16 North Bethesda, Maryland 95.3% 70.2% 21.6% 9.7% 8.3% 82.07
17 Shaker Heights, Ohio 95.9% 65.4% 21.5% 7.3% 11.1% 80.91
18 Menlo Park, California 92.6% 70.6% 26.3% 6.8% 7.7% 79.93
19 Northbrook, Illinois 97.4% 69.3% 18.1% 3.1% 10.9% 79.55
20 Berkeley, California 95.2% 69.2% 22.2% 8.7% 5.7% 79.53
21 Arlington, Virginia 93.4% 72.1% 24.9% 3.9% 9.0% 79.53
22 Highland Park, Illinois 95.1% 69.0% 19.4% 4.1% 11.2% 79.22
23 Carmel, Indiana 98.4% 69.0% 19.5% 5.0% 6.8% 79.03
24 Evanston, Illinois 94.1% 67.2% 23.5% 7.6% 6.9% 78.64
25 Oak Park, Illinois 96.5% 65.9% 23.0% 5.0% 8.1% 78.60
26 Short Pump, Virginia 97.5% 70.5% 21.4% 3.1% 6.9% 78.49
27 Vestavia Hills, Alabama 97.7% 66.5% 17.9% 4.6% 9.3% 78.43
28 Catalina Foothills, Arizona 98.0% 62.8% 18.3% 7.2% 8.0% 78.16
29 Rockville, Maryland 94.1% 63.8% 19.7% 9.8% 7.3% 77.68
30 Arlington, Massachusetts 95.2% 66.3% 23.5% 8.3% 3.8% 77.45
31 Oakton, Virginia 93.7% 68.6% 26.4% 4.9% 5.1% 77.04
32 Sammamish, Washington 98.1% 71.5% 19.6% 3.0% 3.7% 76.67
33 Westfield, New Jersey 96.8% 66.7% 18.4% 4.0% 7.3% 76.48
34 Summit, New Jersey 94.3% 67.6% 20.8% 4.7% 6.9% 76.20
35 Hoboken, New Jersey 93.2% 75.6% 19.3% 2.8% 5.7% 76.18
36 Chesterfield, Missouri 97.8% 65.5% 19.8% 3.0% 6.3% 75.83
37 Ellicott City, Maryland 95.7% 65.4% 20.7% 5.5% 5.5% 75.83
38 Coral Gables, Florida 95.2% 60.5% 14.0% 4.7% 12.9% 75.74
39 Brighton, New York 94.4% 62.2% 21.2% 6.1% 7.6% 75.70
40 Columbia, Maryland 95.5% 64.9% 21.9% 5.1% 5.2% 75.51
41 Santa Monica, California 95.2% 65.5% 15.7% 4.4% 8.9% 75.40
42 Carrboro, North Carolina 90.9% 64.3% 19.4% 8.3% 7.9% 75.23
43 Syosset, New York 96.2% 64.7% 21.0% 2.7% 6.9% 75.14
44 Ithaca, New York 93.6% 61.9% 25.5% 8.8% 2.9% 75.04
45 Farragut, Tennessee 97.5% 62.2% 18.4% 6.9% 3.9% 74.84
46 Foster City, California 96.1% 63.6% 20.8% 5.9% 4.0% 74.71
47 Newport Beach, California 97.6% 64.5% 15.5% 2.9% 7.6% 74.71
48 Reston, Virginia 96.1% 66.6% 22.1% 3.3% 4.1% 74.69
49 Towson, Maryland 95.0% 61.3% 20.3% 5.7% 6.7% 74.63
50 Iowa City, Iowa 95.0% 58.7% 16.1% 9.1% 7.0% 74.52
51 San Ramon, California 97.4% 66.2% 17.9% 3.4% 4.6% 74.42
52 Wildwood, Missouri 97.8% 65.8% 17.9% 2.5% 5.3% 74.41
53 Irvine, California 96.6% 64.3% 17.6% 4.0% 5.9% 74.32
54 Prairie Village, Kansas 98.1% 64.9% 18.0% 2.5% 5.2% 74.16
55 Ames, Iowa 97.1% 62.4% 15.2% 9.4% 2.1% 74.08
56 Olney, Maryland 96.5% 62.0% 18.0% 4.2% 6.4% 73.95
57 Naperville, Illinois 96.3% 65.0% 21.3% 3.4% 3.8% 73.81
58 Mountain View, California 91.8% 64.2% 22.6% 7.1% 4.2% 73.76
59 West Hartford, Connecticut 93.9% 59.2% 19.8% 4.1% 9.3% 73.64
60 Beverly Hills, California 94.5% 58.6% 13.0% 5.2% 11.3% 73.54
61 South Pasadena, California 95.6% 60.9% 15.6% 5.2% 7.3% 73.28
62 Libertyville, Illinois 96.4% 65.0% 20.5% 2.8% 3.7% 73.22
63 Auburn, Alabama 94.9% 61.3% 16.5% 9.2% 3.1% 73.20
64 South Riding, Virginia 96.7% 67.5% 20.8% 1.6% 2.5% 72.96
65 Burke, Virginia 95.7% 63.4% 24.0% 2.3% 3.6% 72.91
66 Walnut Creek, California 97.3% 61.6% 15.9% 3.6% 5.9% 72.90
67 Haslett, Michigan 96.3% 58.4% 18.1% 6.1% 5.1% 72.79
68 Coralville, Iowa 95.7% 58.5% 14.3% 5.9% 7.7% 72.78
69 Rockville Centre, New York 95.3% 60.1% 21.3% 2.3% 6.6% 72.44
70 North Tustin, California 97.6% 58.9% 15.0% 2.7% 7.7% 72.43
71 Northampton, Massachusetts 94.0% 55.6% 19.2% 7.5% 6.5% 72.39
72 El Cerrito, California 94.3% 59.5% 17.2% 7.9% 4.4% 72.34
73 Buffalo Grove, Illinois 97.2% 62.7% 19.9% 2.6% 3.3% 72.25
74 Corvallis, Oregon 96.3% 58.9% 14.7% 7.6% 3.9% 72.03
75 Claremont, California 93.6% 57.4% 16.5% 8.5% 5.4% 71.93
76 Glenview, Illinois 95.6% 60.4% 17.3% 2.1% 7.0% 71.69
77 Bellevue, Washington 95.4% 62.1% 18.6% 3.5% 4.2% 71.67
78 Kirkwood, Missouri 96.4% 61.2% 16.6% 2.5% 5.4% 71.41
79 Palmetto Bay, Florida 95.8% 56.7% 14.4% 4.7% 7.5% 71.35
80 Pikesville, Maryland 95.8% 55.7% 15.9% 3.8% 8.0% 71.22
81 Coppell, Texas 96.5% 61.7% 17.7% 2.1% 4.4% 71.15
82 Dix Hills, New York 94.5% 58.9% 16.4% 2.1% 8.7% 71.15
83 Bloomington, Indiana 92.9% 57.1% 20.4% 9.4% 1.9% 70.97
84 Watertown, Massachusetts 95.0% 59.6% 19.1% 4.5% 3.8% 70.96
85 Cary, North Carolina 94.9% 61.7% 19.0% 4.3% 2.8% 70.89
86 Alexandria, Virginia 90.7% 61.7% 20.5% 3.4% 6.6% 70.70
87 Redmond, Washington 95.2% 61.6% 22.9% 2.7% 1.8% 70.67
88 Weston, Florida 97.1% 58.3% 16.0% 2.1% 6.0% 70.65
89 Newark, Delaware 94.7% 57.1% 17.5% 6.8% 3.3% 70.37
90 Ilchester, Maryland 93.9% 59.2% 22.6% 2.8% 4.1% 70.35
91 Dunwoody, Georgia 91.5% 64.0% 19.8% 2.1% 5.5% 70.28
92 Wheaton, Illinois 95.6% 60.5% 18.1% 2.4% 3.9% 70.20
93 Plainview, New York 95.6% 55.9% 19.9% 1.2% 7.0% 70.20
94 Issaquah, Washington 97.9% 58.2% 17.2% 2.7% 3.1% 70.09
95 Winter Park, Florida 94.7% 55.9% 15.0% 2.9% 8.3% 69.97
96 Laramie, Wyoming 96.7% 54.8% 14.1% 7.0% 3.5% 69.95
97 The Woodlands, Texas 97.2% 59.8% 14.0% 2.5% 4.3% 69.82
98 Homewood, Alabama 92.8% 59.7% 13.4% 3.2% 8.2% 69.78
99 Johns Creek, Georgia 95.0% 62.9% 18.4% 2.0% 2.6% 69.71
100 Highlands Ranch, Colorado 98.0% 60.6% 16.4% 1.7% 2.2% 69.58

Most educated large cities

We also looked at the largest cities, places with 201,000 people or more, to see how they compared. In all of the top 10 big cities, at least 86% of residents have bachelor’s or associate degrees. Scroll through this table to see the data on the nation’s largest cities.

Rank City Residents with a high school diploma or associate degree Residents with a bachelor’s degree Residents with a master’s degree Residents with a doctorate Residents with a professional degree Score
1 Arlington, Virginia 93.4% 72.1% 24.9% 3.9% 9.0% 79.53
2 Irvine, California 96.6% 64.3% 17.6% 4.0% 5.9% 74.32
3 Madison, Wisconsin 94.9% 53.7% 15.5% 5.0% 3.9% 67.91
4 Seattle, Washington 93.2% 57.8% 15.0% 3.4% 4.9% 67.88
5 Scottsdale, Arizona 96.5% 53.2% 13.9% 2.2% 5.4% 67.35
6 Washington, D.C. 88.6% 53.5% 18.1% 3.9% 8.5% 66.97
7 Plano, Texas 93.4% 53.7% 15.9% 1.7% 2.8% 64.30
8 Fremont, California 91.6% 51.5% 18.4% 2.9% 2.4% 63.64
9 San Francisco, California 86.5% 52.9% 13.5% 2.4% 4.9% 60.71
10 Atlanta, Georgia 88.9% 48.2% 12.9% 2.2% 4.8% 60.08
11 Durham, North Carolina 86.8% 46.1% 12.8% 4.9% 3.7% 58.86
12 Portland, Oregon 90.9% 44.4% 12.3% 2.1% 3.6% 58.85
13 Minneapolis, Minnesota 88.6% 47.0% 11.7% 2.3% 3.8% 58.36
14 Raleigh, North Carolina 89.5% 47.0% 11.1% 2.0% 2.7% 57.93
15 Gilbert, Arizona 95.2% 40.1% 9.5% 1.3% 1.7% 57.20
16 Boise City, Idaho 94.1% 38.9% 10.2% 1.6% 2.4% 56.93
17 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 91.2% 37.3% 11.3% 3.7% 3.5% 56.88
18 Austin, Texas 87.1% 45.8% 11.5% 2.2% 2.8% 56.31
19 Lexington, Kentucky 89.1% 40.7% 10.8% 3.1% 3.5% 56.29
20 Boston, Massachusetts 84.8% 43.8% 12.6% 2.9% 4.3% 55.80
21 Chandler, Arizona 91.3% 40.0% 11.5% 1.9% 1.6% 55.74
22 Denver, Colorado 86.1% 44.1% 11.5% 1.9% 3.9% 55.49
23 San Diego, California 87.3% 41.9% 10.6% 3.0% 3.4% 55.44
24 Colorado Springs, Colorado 93.3% 36.6% 11.1% 1.3% 1.9% 55.33
25 Lincoln, Nebraska 93.1% 36.7% 8.3% 2.7% 1.9% 55.25
26 Jersey City, New Jersey 85.6% 42.3% 12.5% 1.5% 2.7% 53.82
27 Virginia Beach, Virginia 94.0% 33.7% 8.8% 1.0% 2.0% 53.76
28 Charlotte, North Carolina 88.6% 40.6% 9.5% 1.0% 2.2% 53.45
29 St. Paul, Minnesota 86.5% 38.9% 9.9% 2.4% 3.5% 53.31
30 Anchorage, Alaska 92.5% 32.4% 8.4% 1.3% 2.4% 52.73
31 Albuquerque, New Mexico 89.2% 33.6% 10.2% 2.3% 2.3% 52.28
32 Greensboro, North Carolina 88.3% 36.7% 9.5% 1.5% 1.9% 51.90
33 Henderson, Nevada 92.3% 30.4% 7.8% 1.1% 2.7% 51.65
34 Honolulu, Hawaii 88.0% 35.0% 8.2% 1.9% 2.6% 51.33
35 Nashville, Tennessee 86.7% 35.7% 8.4% 2.0% 2.5% 50.86
36 Orlando, Florida 88.9% 33.7% 7.9% 1.1% 2.2% 50.51
37 Oakland, California 80.9% 39.1% 11.2% 2.5% 3.5% 50.42
38 Tampa, Florida 86.5% 33.9% 8.4% 1.7% 3.2% 50.27
39 New Orleans, Louisiana 84.5% 34.2% 8.4% 2.2% 4.2% 50.09
40 Omaha, Nebraska 87.6% 33.3% 7.7% 1.4% 2.6% 49.96
41 Columbus, Ohio 88.2% 33.0% 8.1% 1.4% 1.8% 49.85
42 Spokane, Washington 90.8% 28.5% 7.4% 1.3% 2.3% 49.75
43 Kansas City, Missouri 88.0% 31.9% 8.4% 1.1% 2.3% 49.59
44 San Jose, California 82.5% 37.6% 10.7% 1.9% 1.6% 49.09
45 Chesapeake, Virginia 90.4% 28.6% 8.3% 0.9% 1.3% 48.97
46 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 85.6% 32.3% 7.9% 2.3% 2.5% 48.92
47 St. Petersburg, Florida 88.6% 29.1% 7.0% 1.2% 2.2% 48.39
48 Winston-Salem, North Carolina 84.4% 32.9% 8.1% 2.0% 2.5% 48.28
49 Tulsa, Oklahoma 86.9% 30.4% 6.6% 1.1% 2.5% 47.81
50 Richmond, Virginia 81.8% 34.7% 9.3% 1.4% 2.8% 47.54
51 Montgomery, Alabama 85.5% 31.0% 8.5% 1.3% 1.9% 47.52
52 Cincinnati, Ohio 84.0% 31.4% 8.6% 1.7% 2.6% 47.47
53 Chicago, Illinois 81.4% 34.4% 9.4% 1.4% 2.9% 47.23
54 Reno, Nevada 85.5% 29.7% 6.8% 1.9% 2.4% 47.22
55 Fayetteville, North Carolina 90.7% 24.2% 6.0% 1.1% 1.2% 46.81
56 Louisville, Kentucky 86.9% 27.0% 8.0% 1.3% 2.0% 46.80
57 Wichita, Kansas 87.6% 28.3% 7.1% 0.9% 1.4% 46.75
58 New York, New York 79.9% 34.9% 9.9% 1.4% 3.0% 46.73
59 Lubbock, Texas 85.4% 28.8% 6.7% 1.7% 2.1% 46.40
60 St. Louis, Missouri 83.1% 30.3% 8.4% 1.9% 2.3% 46.31
61 Irving, Texas 80.2% 35.2% 10.4% 1.1% 1.5% 46.00
62 Tacoma, Washington 87.9% 25.2% 6.8% 1.0% 1.7% 45.93
63 Norfolk, Virginia 86.4% 25.7% 7.0% 1.3% 1.9% 45.59
64 Jacksonville, Florida 87.9% 25.7% 5.5% 0.8% 1.5% 45.52
65 Fort Wayne, Indiana 87.8% 25.3% 6.2% 0.8% 1.4% 45.42
66 Sacramento, California 83.1% 29.2% 6.6% 1.3% 2.7% 45.30
67 Des Moines, Iowa 87.7% 25.3% 5.2% 0.8% 1.4% 45.08
68 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 84.4% 28.3% 6.4% 1.0% 2.0% 45.00
69 Shreveport, Louisiana 85.4% 25.7% 6.3% 1.2% 2.3% 44.93
70 Aurora, Colorado 85.9% 26.9% 6.4% 0.8% 1.4% 44.93
71 Arlington, Texas 84.6% 29.2% 6.6% 1.1% 0.9% 44.92
72 Mesa, Arizona 87.3% 24.7% 6.5% 0.7% 1.2% 44.84
73 Indianapolis, Indiana 84.8% 27.3% 6.7% 1.0% 1.8% 44.82
74 Baltimore, Maryland 80.9% 27.5% 8.3% 1.9% 2.7% 44.16
75 Birmingham, Alabama 84.2% 24.0% 5.8% 1.6% 2.0% 43.49
76 Tucson, Arizona 83.9% 24.5% 6.9% 1.4% 1.5% 43.34
77 Buffalo, New York 82.1% 24.8% 8.2% 1.3% 1.8% 42.89
78 Memphis, Tennessee 82.8% 24.5% 5.8% 1.3% 1.8% 42.45
79 Long Beach, California 79.2% 28.8% 7.1% 1.2% 2.1% 42.39
80 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 81.4% 24.4% 6.6% 1.3% 2.2% 42.06
81 Phoenix, Arizona 80.6% 26.5% 6.5% 0.9% 1.9% 41.83
82 Chula Vista, California 81.0% 26.6% 6.2% 0.6% 1.6% 41.72
83 San Antonio, Texas 81.2% 25.1% 6.3% 0.9% 1.7% 41.53
84 Houston, Texas 76.2% 30.0% 7.4% 1.5% 2.4% 41.43
85 Rochester, New York 80.6% 24.5% 7.5% 0.8% 1.6% 41.19
86 Fort Worth, Texas 79.8% 26.6% 6.7% 0.9% 1.2% 41.02
87 Los Angeles, California 74.8% 31.3% 6.6% 1.2% 2.6% 40.84
88 Las Vegas, Nevada 83.0% 21.7% 5.2% 0.7% 1.6% 40.81
89 Glendale, Arizona 83.2% 21.4% 5.7% 0.5% 1.1% 40.51
90 Paradise, Nevada 84.2% 20.4% 4.1% 0.7% 1.1% 40.35
91 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 81.7% 22.5% 5.9% 0.7% 1.1% 40.24
92 Dallas, Texas 74.2% 29.6% 7.3% 1.1% 2.7% 40.00
93 Toledo, Ohio 84.5% 16.9% 4.5% 0.9% 0.6% 39.19
94 Corpus Christi, Texas 81.1% 20.6% 5.2% 1.0% 1.1% 39.05
95 Riverside, California 78.1% 22.3% 6.4% 1.5% 1.4% 38.76
96 Modesto, California 81.5% 18.1% 4.2% 0.5% 1.6% 38.07
97 El Paso, Texas 77.3% 23.0% 5.5% 0.7% 1.2% 37.64
98 Bakersfield, California 78.7% 20.2% 4.4% 0.8% 1.4% 37.22
99 Anaheim, California 74.8% 24.3% 4.8% 1.0% 1.4% 36.64
100 Garland, Texas 76.6% 20.9% 4.4% 0.6% 0.7% 35.62
101 Miami, Florida 72.0% 23.3% 5.1% 0.8% 3.0% 35.46
102 Fresno, California 75.0% 19.6% 3.7% 0.8% 1.6% 34.56
103 Cleveland, Ohio 77.4% 15.5% 3.8% 0.6% 1.2% 34.26
104 North Las Vegas, Nevada 78.1% 14.7% 3.6% 0.3% 0.9% 33.85
105 Detroit, Michigan 77.7% 13.0% 4.0% 0.5% 0.7% 33.12
106 Stockton, California 74.6% 17.1% 3.3% 0.8% 1.2% 33.07
107 Fontana, California 71.3% 15.6% 3.3% 0.1% 0.6% 29.64
108 Newark, New Jersey 71.0% 13.0% 3.0% 0.6% 0.5% 28.52
109 Hialeah, Florida 70.7% 13.6% 2.2% 0.3% 0.8% 28.34
110 Laredo, Texas 65.4% 16.8% 3.9% 0.4% 1.0% 26.99
111 Oxnard, California 65.3% 15.9% 3.1% 0.4% 0.7% 26.16
112 San Bernardino, California 68.0% 11.0% 2.7% 0.4% 0.5% 25.70
113 Santa Ana, California 54.2% 10.9% 1.9% 0.2% 0.7% 16.89

 

Methodology

To find the most educated places, NerdWallet analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from the American Community Survey on the educational levels of residents in over 2,000 places — cities, towns, villages and census-designated places. We calculated the overall score for each place by using the following factors:

  1.     The percentage of residents with at least a high school diploma or associate degree is 40% of the score.
  2.     The percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree is 30% of the score.
  3.     The percentage of residents with at least a master’s degree is 10% of the score.
  4.     The percentage of residents with a doctorate degree is 10% of the score.
  5.     The percentage of residents with a professional degree is 10% of the score.

Palmer Square, Princeton, New Jersey, image via iStock.