Nov 1, 2023 - News

Where Philly ranks among educated cities

Illustration of a golden apple on a stack of books.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Philadelphia ranks in the bottom half of America's most-educated cities.

Why it matters: College degree holders tend to make significantly more money, which translates into more tax revenue for cities.

Driving the news: We are 54th in Forbes Advisor's rankings of the nation's 100 most educated cities.

  • That positions us behind Omaha, Nebraska, and in front of Norfolk, Virginia.

Plus: We're far behind No. 20 Pittsburgh.

How it works: The ranking looks at the percentage of degree holders, high school dropout rate and gender and racial equity in college grads.

By the numbers: Roughly 35% of Philadelphians 25 and older have a bachelor's degree, per Forbes.

  • That's less than the national average of 50% and significantly less than the roughly 77% of bachelor's degree holders claimed by Arlington, the nation's most educated city, according to Forbes.
  • Less than 16% of Philadelphians in the same age group have a graduate degree, putting the city at No. 41 for residents with advanced degrees.

Of note: Philly was 63th in high-school dropout rates at 12.8%.

  • Santa Ana, California, had the nation's worst dropout rate with more than a quarter of students failing to graduate, per Forbes.
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