Census Bureau data released last week reaffirm Washington’s status as the best-educated metropolis -- first among the 50 largest metropolitan areas -- for its share of adults who hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
The District is surrounded by five of the nation’s best-educated counties, home to an alphabet soup of federal agencies that prize brains, including the NIH, NSA, NOAA, NASA and the CIA. Washington has one of the nation’s largest concentrations of college students, and, once graduated, they tend not to leave. D.C. internships attract some of the best minds from the finest universities in the nation’s interior, acting as a sort of demographic parasite.
President Obama has set a national goal of regaining the world lead in college attainment by 2020. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum mocked that goal in a speech the other day, calling Obama a “snob”. (For the record: Both men finished college. And law school.)
Here is the complete Top 10:
1. Washington metro area, 46.8% bachelor’s attainment
2. San Jose metro area, 45.3%
3. San Francisco, 43.4%
4. Boston, 43%
5. Raleigh, N.C., 41%
6. Austin, Tex., 39.4%
7. Denver, 38.2%
8. Minneapolis, 37.9%
9. Seattle, 37%
10. New York, 36%
And the least-educated metro areas? Riverside, Calif., followed by Las Vegas.