Seattleites are the Most-Educated Among Big Cities in the U.S.

The results are in and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Seattle tops the big city in the U.S. for the number of college-educated residents, coming in at a staggering 63 percent for residents age 25 and older. As Seattle Times  reports, “among the 50 largest cities in the country, we’re the only one to hit that 60 percent mark — something we first achieved in 2015.”

To be sure, the population of the United States is more educated than ever before. On a national basis, roughly 35 percent of Americans hold a four-year degree, the equivalent of those that graduated from high school in 1950. As each generation comes to college age, the numbers increase. As the Times outlines, “among Seattle millennials (ages 25-34), 73 percent are college graduates.”


The above map, which illustrates the top cities on the list, demonstrates the way in which the economy has driven college-educated residents to cities where tech jobs are prevalent: Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Austin, TX.

Data also shows that more than a quarter of Seattle residents hold an advanced degree (master’s, professional or Ph.D.), a figure that is higher than nearly all big cities, with the exception of Washington, D.C. Moving out to mid-size cities, Bellevue ranks well among the most educated cities, with an even greater percentage of college-educated residents than Seattle, at 68 percent of residents aged 25 and older.

Given that Seattle is experiencing an influx of new, educated residents, Will Jeakle, a contributor to Forbes, wrote a guide that outlines “How to be Seattle Smart.” Among his recommendations are getting a dog to fit in, complaining about everything, holding contempt for Starbucks (despite buying coffee there), rooting for the Seahawks (whether or not you care for American football) and the suggestion to never—in any case—use an umbrella. It’s a funny article that we highly recommend reading through, whether you’re a born and bred Seattleite or newcomer.