This Major Maine City is One of the Most Highly Educated in the Country
In case you missed it within the last few days, WalletHub, which is notorious for coming up with constant Most/Least lists throughout the year, just dropped their list of 2021's Most & Least Educated Cities in America.
Most Educated Cities in America
While their list showed that we, in fact, are fortunate enough to be pretty educated in Northern New England based on the amount of time New England states popped up on their list (and decently ranked at that) -- with all due respect, the list also comes off a bit wonky.
For example, it's a great look for Northern New England to have its first appearance right off the bat in the #6 spot for most educated, but consider how it's listed: "Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH."
MA-NH? How do you lump two different states together? Sure, Boston is about 30 minutes from the New Hampshire line, and essentially Cambridge and Newton are all part of the Boston area, but it still makes ZERO sense. I can see combining Berlin and Gorham, New Hampshire -- that's one thing. But lumping three different decent-sized cities, plus a totally different state? It just comes off wonky.
Major Cities in America
As a play on the WalletHub list, I conducted my own little list, which I fully admit right now isn't fool-proof from having holes. While WalletHub weighed their list based on 11 key metrics, I looked at primarily two of those metrics only and applied it to each state's most populated city, to try and base it off some common ground.
While it's obvious that Boston, Massachusetts is more populated than Manchester, New Hampshire, which is more populated than Portland, Maine, which is more populated than Burlington, Vermont, which is more populated than a place like Fargo, North Dakota -- looking at the most populated city in each state allowed for the closest comparison possible.
This list looks specifically at both the percentage of persons age 25+ with a high school diploma as well as persons age 25+ with a bachelor's degree or higher, all according to the 2015-2019 Census.
High School Graduates in America
Of all the most populated cities in the country with persons age 25+ that have a high school diploma, Portland ranked 9th in the country for the highest percentage, with 93.2% of persons age 25+ having a diploma. For comparison, the most populated city with the highest percentage goes to Boise City, Idaho, with 95.10% of the same demographic having a diploma.
College Graduates in America
Portland also finished with a massively high ranking when looking at the most populated cities with persons age 25+ that have at least a bachelor's degree from college. When all was said and done, Portland ranked 5th in the country for the highest percentage, with 52.6% of persons age 25+ having at least a bachelor's. If you're curious, the top-ranked most populated city was Seattle, Washington, with a whopping 60% of the same demographic having at least a bachelor's. Burlington, Vermont also got a tip of the cap, landing 3rd in the country with 53.3% of the same demographic having at least a bachelor's.
No matter which list you focus on -- the WalletHub one or the most populated cities one -- it goes without saying that we're pretty fortunate to have access to great education in Northern New England.