2023’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America – WalletHub Study

With the average cost of attendance at a four-year college having fallen by around 10% in the past three years, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America, as well as expert commentary.

To determine where the most educated Americans are choosing to settle down, WalletHub compared the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across 11 key metrics. The data set ranges from the share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to the racial education gap to the quality of the public-school system.

Most Educated Cities Least Educated Cities
1. Ann Arbor, MI 141. Salinas, CA
2. San Jose, CA 142. Corpus Christi, TX
3. Washington, DC 143. Beaumont, TX
4. San Francisco, CA 144. Hickory, NC
5. Madison, WI 145. Stockton, CA
6. Durham, NC 146. Modesto, CA
7. Boston, MA 147. Bakersfield, CA
8. Raleigh, NC 148. McAllen, TX
9. Seattle, WA 149. Brownsville, TX
10. Austin, TX 150. Visalia, CA

Key Stats

  • The Ann Arbor, MI, metro area has the highest share of bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older, 57.20 percent, which is 3.8 times higher than in Visalia, CA, the metro area with the lowest at 15.20 percent.
  • The El Paso, TX, metro area has the highest racial education gap, with the share of black bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older at 23.75 percent, compared with 20.78 percent for their white counterparts, a difference of 2.96 percent favoring black people.
  • For comparison, the national average for black people with the same attributes is 15.07 percent, and it is 23.32 percent for their white counterparts.
  • The Anchorage, AK, metro area has the highest gender education gap, with the share of female bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older at 23.25 percent, compared with 18.64 percent for their male counterparts, a difference of 4.61 percent favoring women.
  • For comparison, the national average for women with the same attributes is 21.03 percent, and it is 20.12 percent for their male counterparts.