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Tuesday May 22, 2012

Boston Leads the U.S. in Education Levels for Young Adults

G. Scott Thomas, American City Business Journals

The percentage of college-educated young adults is larger in the Boston area than anywhere else in America.

Nearly two-fifths of the 18-to-34-year-olds in the Boston market -- 39.2 percent, to be precise -- hold bachelor's degrees, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau    .

That's two full percentage points ahead of any other major metropolitan area. Washington is No. 2, with 37.2 percent of its young adults possessing four-year college degrees.

Rounding out the top five are San Francisco-Oakland at 35.6 percent, San Jose at 35.2 percent and Madison, Wis., at 34.8 percent.

On Numbers tabulated education data from the Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey, focusing on the nation's 100 biggest metropolitan areas. Breakdowns can be found in the database below.

There are 47.8 million people between the ages of 18 and 34 within those 100 markets. A total of 11.9 million -- 24.9 percent -- hold bachelor's degrees. (That figure does not include several million students in the 18-34 group who are still working toward their degrees.)

At the low end of the scale are three Sunbelt markets where less than one-tenth of all young adults are college-educated.

Bakersfield, Calif., and Lakeland, Fla., have the lowest rates, 9.1 percent, while Stockton, Calif., is marginally better at 9.3 percent.

The 10 markets with the smallest percentages are all in California, Florida and Texas.

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