Smart returns on big government

Do you live in one of America’s “smartest” cities? Thanks to The Census Bureau, you can find out. According to newly released data, Washington D.C. is the metro area with the highest percentage of residents with college degrees. The city has 47.3 percent of people age 25 and over with a bachelor’s, master’s, professional school or doctorate degree.

This shouldn’t come as much of a shock according to John Schmidt, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He tells CNN Money:

“There’s a very high share of federal government employees here…and people dealing with the federal government, including defense contractors, lobbyists, businesses that want to influence the regulatory process; there’s lots of lawyers.”

Salaries in these cities also tend to be above average. CNN reports that D.C. has the highest median household income of any metro area with over one million residents.

Coming in second place is San Francisco, CA with 43.5 percent, followed by San Jose, CA with 43.2 percent, Raleigh, NC with 42.2 percent, and Boston, MA also with 42.2 percent.

Rounding out the bottom of the list is Memphis, TN with 24.2 percent, just below the national average (25%). Las Vegas, NV follows Memphis with 21.5 percent and coming in at the bottom of the list is Riverside, CA with 19.2 percent.

To see the rest of the top ten and bottom ten, click here.

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One Response to Smart returns on big government

  1. Amanda says:

    I find this an interesting study, because I’m not quite sure what it shows or means. A lot depends on exactly what data they are measuring. For example, is it the total number of residents that have a college degree at all? Or do they look at where people resided while they attended college?

    I feel like it would almost be more beneficial to see where people were from when they attended college. I feel like many people use this information to choose where they want to live, especially to raise a family, so this second study would seem more beneficial to me. However, I believe it was taken the other way, which to me, only seems to show where people with college degrees tend to live in order to find jobs.

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