Ann Arbor Ranked Most Educated City in US by New Study

By Nancy Ma
Nancy Ma
Nancy Ma
July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

A new study recently ranked Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the most educated city in the country.

On July 19, personal finance company, WalletHub said it compared the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across 11 key metrics. WalletHub says their data ranges from “the share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to the quality of the public-school system to the gender education gap.”

According to the data, the Ann Arbor metro area has the highest share of bachelor’s degree holders aged 25 and older at 55.9 percent, which is 3.8 times higher than in Visalia, California, the metro area with the lowest-ranked in the study at 14.6 percent.

WalletHub states in their report, “cities want to attract highly educated workers to fuel their economic growth and tax revenues. Higher levels of education tend to lead to higher salaries. Plus, the more that graduates earn, the more tax dollars they contribute over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In turn, educated people want to live somewhere where they will get a good return on their educational investment. People also tend to marry others of the same educational level, which means that cities that already have a large educated population may be more attractive to people with degrees.”

WalletHub also said that not all highly educated people will flock to the same field, “some may prefer to have many people with similar education levels around them for socializing and career connections. Others may want to be a big fish in a little pond. Not every city will provide the same quality of life to those with higher education, either.”

The Epoch Times spoke to Sofia Franciscus, who grew up in Puerto Rico, studied for her undergraduate degree in Ann Arbor. The main campus of the University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor. Franciscus currently has a master’s degree and is fluent in four languages.

During college, she felt that it was too cold in Michigan. She vowed never to live there again. She moved to Atlanta in 1999 and then worked overseas until 2013. In 2013, she got married and couldn’t believe that she was back in the “snow cave.” However, she appreciates the winter and the many facilities provided by the city more and more, and she is amazed by it.

Franciscus said, “Ann Arbor is a wonderful city, offering amazing and well-maintained outdoor parks and recreational opportunities.”

However, what she dislikes about Ann Arbor is “the rising taxes,” she told The Epoch Times.

Svetlana Rees is a woman of Russian descent. She moved to Ann Arbor from the UK because of her husband’s job transfer, she told The Epoch Times. Rees said, “we lived here since 2007 on and off moving back and forth between the UK and Ann Arbor. It’s no different for us as we came from Cambridge, UK. We quickly adapted to the life here.”

“Overall we are very pleased with the well-rounded curriculum in Ann Arbor schools that caters equally for children with academic, sports, or performing arts preferences,” Rees said.

Her daughter, Sophie, who just graduated high school told The Epoch Times, “being amongst educated people makes me strive to do better, but also puts a lot of pressure to achieve.”

Mary Manthey teaches at a school in Ann Arbor. She told The Epoch Times that she was not surprised that Ann Arbor was ranked so high. She said: “Our family has been living in Ann Arbor since 1992. The reason why my husband and I chose to settle here is that we think there are great schools, great outdoor activities, international communities, wonderful people, and delicious food. Overall, the people in Ann Arbor are very welcoming.”

The rest of the top 5 educated cities on the list include San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV; San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA; and Madison, WI.

WalletHub’s report predicts the most educated cities in the near future will be dependent on how well cities deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact it has had on schooling. According to a Horace Mann study, more than 97 percent of educators reported seeing learning loss among their students due to the pandemic.

Nancy Ma
Nancy Ma