House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Most Educated Cities in the US (2024 Update)

3rd Street downtown Alexandria Louisiana

Thousands of students graduate in the US every year. According to an estimate, around 4 million students¹ were expected to graduate between 2020 and 2021. This shows the country has some highly educated cities, such as Silicon Valley, that produce passionate talent ready to take over the world.

A renowned personal finance website, WalletHub¹, compared the data of the 150 biggest metropolitan cities in the US. The goal was to determine what city has the highest number of educated citizens making the most out of their degrees.

The experts compared cities based on 11 metrics, including people aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree and higher, quality of public schools, gender equality, etc. Based on their findings, we present the 10 most educated cities in the US.

city divider

The 10 Most Educated Cities in the US

1. Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor Michigan
Image Credit: maksmuno, Pixabay
Total Score 92.57
Educational Attainment Ranking 1
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 3

WalletHub ranked Ann Arbor as the most educated city in the US, as it left others behind on every metric. With more than 40,000 students, Ann Arbor has the highest percentage of people with associate’s degrees, high school diplomas, and bachelor’s degrees.

Ann Arbor has the University of Michigan, which produces the best talent in the market. Some other top universities and colleges in the city include Northwestern Mutual, Ross Medical Education Center, Concordia University, and more.

Compared to the other cities on this list, Ann Arbor also has the highest populace with a bachelor’s degree, around 55.2%¹. These individuals are not just degree holders but the most skilled personnel ready to work at world-class companies.

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington DC
Image Credit: Suetaylor-owens, Pixabay
Total Score 77.39
Educational Attainment Ranking 2
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 36

According to the latest consensus, more than 50% of Americans¹ in Washington DC hold a post-secondary degree. That’s about 34.2% compared to other cities in the country. This shows that the city isn’t only home to politicians. Instead, about one-third of Washington, DC adults have a professional degree. Out of these degree holders, 49% have a STEM degree.

Washington, DC, is accompanied by Arlington and Alexandria for the 2nd spot on the list. The cities are known for their development in hospitality, data science, and security technology industries. These three cities are also globally famous for having prestigious colleges, museums, media, and financial firms.

Some internationally recognized colleges in Washington DC include Georgetown University, Howard University, and the University of Maryland.

3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

San jose california
Image Credit: Andrii Ganzevych, Unsplash
Total Score 75.14
Educational Attainment Ranking 3
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 6

Also known as Silicon Valley, San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara in Northern California are the third-most educated cities in the US. They have one of the most notable percentages of professional degree holders.

This piece of Northern California is home to global tech giants, including Intel, IBM, Apple, and Facebook. This provides excellent opportunities to thousands of students graduating from Santa Clara University, Stanford University, and San Jose State. They can even start as an intern at these tech companies while staying on campus.

Fun Fact: Long before this tech revolution, Silicon Valley was known as a “garlic hub” worldwide. In fact, Gilroy was famous as the “Garlic Capital of the World.”

4. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

Durham downtown North Carolina
Durham downtown North Carolina (Image Credit: Atlpedia, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Total Score 72.77
Educational Attainment Ranking 5
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 12

Chapel Hill is famous for being home to the all-famous University of North Carolina (UNC). UNC has been included in the top 20 best value colleges 2019 list¹, and that’s not the only achievement the instruction has got. It was one of only two universities in the country that fully caters to the financial requirements of all admitted students.

All thanks to UNC, North Carolina was also ranked third for maintaining the average university quality in the state. Duke University is not behind anyone either. The institution also provides quality education that produces skilled professionals.

UNC and Duke also organize different programs for students to make education more accessible, regardless of their yearly income. The Tarheels and Blue Devils graduating from these universities serve the local tech businesses, government institutions, and healthcare the best.

North Carolina also has Durham University, providing world-class education in many fields. So, it’s no surprise both Durham and Chapel Hill stand at number four on this list of most educated US cities.

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

San Francisco City
Image Credit By: Fancycrave1, Pixabay
Total Score 71.07
Educational Attainment Ranking 7
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 21

San Francisco is undoubtedly the tech hub of the US, ranking at number five based on the highest number of associate and bachelor’s degree holders. It’s accompanied by Oakland and Hayward.

All three of these cities are situated in the center of Silicon Valley and are known for their tech innovation. Some tech giants, including Google, Salesforce, Uber, Apple, and Twitter, have their headquarters near the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

This area of California is also home to numerous world-renowned universities, including UC Berkeley, Stanford University, California State University, Oaksterdam University, and many more. Students graduating from these universities have higher chances of getting employed at the world’s best companies and at higher salaries.

6. Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin
Image Credit By: 12019, Pixabay
Total Score 69.47
Educational Attainment Ranking 4
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 109

Although ranking at number six, Madison stands just behind Ann Arbor in terms of having the highest number of high school diploma holders. The city has a better educational attainment ranking than the tech hubs mentioned above. After all, the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus is also located in Madison.

The University of Wisconsin is popular for its top-rated education, psychology, and rehabilitation counseling programs. The city also has many of the highest-rated brokers and insurance companies in the world. So, if you’re good at math, you may get a chance to work in any of those firms and kickstart your professional career.

7. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Boston City
Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay
Total Score 67.71
Educational Attainment Ranking 6
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 114

Popular as a big college town, the Boston-Cambridge-Newton region has a population of about 700,000 people with approximately 345,000 college students. The area is home to many renowned universities, including MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern University, and many others located close to each other.

In fact, around 45% of degree holders in Boston are specialized in any of the STEM fields. It makes sense since Boston has many tech institutes like Wentworth Institute of Technology and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.

Unfortunately, despite being the seventh most educated city in the US, Boston has the highest percentage of unemployed individuals. It totals anywhere near 6.7%.

8. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, Texas skyline during daytime
Image Credit: justraveling, Pixabay
Total Score 66.14
Educational Attainment Ranking 15
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 5

Over the years, Austin has emerged as one of the major tech hubs in the Southern US. All thanks to the city’s business-friendly environment¹ that caters to many tech giants, including Dell, Facebook, and Google.

The area also has many higher universities and colleges. UT Austin enrolls about 51,000+ students yearly¹, many of whom decide to work at the tech companies present in the region after graduating.

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle City Street
Image Credit: Chuck Reisinger, Pixabay
Total Score 66.13
Educational Attainment Ranking 10
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 22

Seattle is known to have the best universities and career opportunities for passionate individuals. The highly recognized University of Washing is present in this city. It’s understandable why Seattle has an impressive 36% of adults with a bachelor’s degree.

The city holds various IT, global health, and green technology businesses. Starbucks, Amazon, and Costco also have their headquarters in or near Seattle.

Fortunately, there has been a lot of work done in the development of startups¹ in the city. As a result, the town has multiple incubators and accelerators that support small businesses in the entire region of Washington, including Tacoma and Bellevue.

10. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Barnum museum Bridgeport CT
Image Credit: Aubrey Gough, Shutterstock
Total Score 65.94
Educational Attainment Ranking 8
Quality and Equality of Education Ranking 140

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area in Connecticut ranks 10th for having the most educated populace in the US. However, one thing to notice is that this region has one of the highest racial education gaps across the country.

These three cities are popular for producing the best technicians, sports medicine professionals, and writers. The credit goes to the top universities in or near these cities, including the University of Bridgeport, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and Wesleyan University.

Students graduating from these top universities have the opportunity to get employed at Charter Communications, Xeros, and more. Further development in this area shows a bright future for Connecticut regarding education and employment.

city divider


Education quality and employment rate have been major concerns in the US for many years. While WalletHub listed the top 10 most educated US cities, it also mentioned cities with the poorest education quality and the highest racial gender gap.

With thousands of students graduating in the country every year, steps should be taken to cater to each student’s talents and skills. After all, the future of the economy depends on these people!

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools