I’m sure that those of you who have been reading Seattle Bubble since at least April recall the AP study that heralded Seattle as the “most educated” city in the USA (or “smartest,” depending on whether the article author made the false assumption that more education == smarter). According to the April study:
Forty-seven percent of Seattle’s adults hold bachelor’s degrees, the strongest proportion of college-educated residents in any big city.
However, a new study by Forbes lists America’s ten most educated cities (again mis-titled as the “smartest cities”), and Seattle is nowhere to be found. Here’s the complete list:
#1 Boulder, CO
#2 Bethesda, MD
#3 Ann Arbor, MI
#4 Cambridge, MA
#5 San Francisco, CA
#6 Durham, NC
#7 Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
#8 Washington, DC
#9 Bridgeport, Stamford, and Norwalk, CT
#10 San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, CA
The methodologies of the two studies sound fairly similar, so I’m left wondering how Seattle went from #1 to below #10.
Using data from Sperling’s BestPlaces, we looked at data from the 200 biggest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked them based on the percentage of the population age 25 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Whatever our percentage of degreed adults truly is, I don’t think that an “educated” populace is some kind of magic bullet that will keep housing prices rising. I only really bothered mentioning this because some people made such a big deal about Seattle’s #1 position in the April study.
Personally, I don’t put much stock in Forbes, but I know a lot of people do, so being left off of their list probably comes as a bit of a blow to the collective ego of our city. Oh well. At least we were the reigning champions for eight months.
(Elisabeth Eaves, Forbes, 12.15.2006)