Seattle and Bellevue among most highly educated cities in the country

Knowledge is power, as they say. That’s why many people choose to pursue higher education—it generally leads to higher salaries and better long-term outcomes for individuals. A recent study by WalletHub ranked the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area as the 9th most educated metro in the country, out of over 150 large and small metros nationwide. In particular, the area was 10th in educational attainment and 12th in quality of education and attainment gap.

The most highly educated city in the country was Ann Arbor, MI, which ranked first in both of the aforementioned categories. Other high-scoring metros included San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA in second place, and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV in third.

The study looked at the percentage of high school diploma holders in the area, percentage of Associate’s Degree holders or adults with college experience, the percentage of Bachelor’s Degree holders the and percentage of Graduate or Professional Degree holders. Other categories included the average university quality, racial education gap and gender education gap.

With dozens of universities in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area, and with our region’s strong employment sector attracting skilled professionals from elsewhere, it naturally follows that the area has one of the most highly-educated populations in the country.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Area Median Income (AMI) for Seattle in 2021 was $105,391, and in Bellevue it was $140,252, or twice the national median household income of $70,784. The connection between higher educational achievement and higher AMI is fairly straightforward. Seattle and Bellevue are hubs for the tech sector, which often requires employees to have advanced technical degrees. These positions naturally pay more because of the expertise they require, leading to higher AMIs.

With this in mind, striving for higher education — especially in our area — is a no-brainer.

This article used information from a WalletHub study.

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