LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Students throw their caps in the air ahead of their graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on July 15, 2014 in London, England. Students of the London College of Fashion, Management and Science and Media and Communication attended their graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall today.

When choosing a place to live there are a lot of factors that play into that decision. You want a good education for your children, but additionally living in a highly educated area has other benefits. More education means higher salaries, which in turn means economic growth and higher tax revenues. The good news is two North Carolina cities made the top 10 for the most educated. The bad news? 4 North Carolina cities were ranked in the bottom 50 of the least educated. This is according to WalletHub’s latest list. The list is 2022’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America.

How do you determine the most educated cities? WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas across 11 key metrics. They measured the share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Then looked at this number against the quality of the public-school system to the gender education gap.

Another major city, missing from this list was sitting at 53. Which out of 150 is still the top half at least. What does this mean? There is a wide variety in the education levels throughout the state of North Carolina. So when choosing where to live in the state, it is important to do your research.

Four North Carolina Cities Rank In The Bottom 50 Educated Cities In The Country

  • 100. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign at the state border

    Total Score: 48.57

    Educational Attainment: 97

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 94

  • 101. Greensboro-High Point, NC

    Greensboro skyline

    Greensboro, North Carolina skyline from the west. (Photo: Raynor Garey/Getty Images)

    Total Score: 48.41

    Educational Attainment: 105

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 37

  • 102. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 48.16

    Educational Attainment: 98

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 103

  • 103. Toledo, OH

    Ohio

    WELCOME TO OHIO – traffic sign message

    Total Score: 47.29

    Educational Attainment: 104

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 92

  • 104. Memphis, TN

    Recreation

    Beale St, Memphis

    Total Score: 46.59

    Educational Attainment: 103

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 114

  • 105. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

    Total Score:

    Educational Attainment:

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap:

  • 106. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 46.40

    Educational Attainment: 107

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 93

  • 107. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC

    South Carolina

    Total Score: 46.36

    Educational Attainment: 111

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 36

  • 108. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL

    Iowa

    Iowa state of United States flag on flagpole textile cloth fabric waving on the top sunrise mist fog

    Total Score:46.32

    Educational Attainment: 102

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 141

  • 109. Fort Wayne, IN

    Indiana

    Aerial view over the downtown city skyline of Fort Wayne Indiana USA

    Total Score: 46.08

    Educational Attainment: 108

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 86

  • 110. Tulsa, OK

    Oklahoma

    Total Score: 45.36

    Educational Attainment: 110

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 102

  • 111. Winston-Salem, NC

    Winston Salem

    Winston-Salem North Carolina NC Downtown Skyline Aerial at Sunset.

    Total Score: 45.20

    Educational Attainment: 120

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 19

  • 112. Chattanooga, TN-GA

    Tennessee

    Tennessee welcomes you sign at he state border

    Total Score: 44.92

    Educational Attainment: 112

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 77

  • 113. Baton Rouge, LA

    Louisiana

    Louisiana stateline sign

    Total Score: 44.91

    Educational Attainment: 114

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 65

  • 114. Fayetteville, NC

    Fayettevile

    The turnabout on Hay Street passes by a historic location in Fayetteville NC

    Total Score: 44.88

    Educational Attainment: 116

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 51

  • 115. Salisbury, MD-DE

    Maryland

    Total Score: 44.16

    Educational Attainment: 106

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 143

  • 116. Salem, OR

    Oregon

    Travelers will be welcomed to Oregon by this sign on I-5

    Total Score: 43.45

    Educational Attainment: 121

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 45

  • 117. Port St. Lucie, FL

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 42.87

    Educational Attainment: 119

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 99

  • 118. Killeen-Temple, TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 42.83

    Educational Attainment: 113

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 125

  • 119. Augusta-Richmond Country, CA-SC

    Augusta Georgia Downtown

    Total Score: 42.12

    Educational Attainment: 117

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 129

  • 120. Vallejo, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score: 41.93

    Educational Attainment: 109

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 148

  • 121. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

    Daytona 500

    DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 20: Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

    Total Score: 41.33

    Educational Attainment: 118

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 138

  • 122. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

    Nevada

    Aerial view of Las Vegas strip in Nevada as seen at night USA

    Total Score: 41.25

    Educational Attainment: 126

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 32

  • 123. Gulfport-Biloxi, MS

    Mississippi

    Mississippi State welcome sign along the US Highway 61 in the USA; Concept for travel in America and Road Trip in America

    Total Score: 41.13

    Educational Attainment: 122

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 108

  • 124. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign at the state border

    Total Score: 40.42

    Educational Attainment: 123

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 119

  • 125. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

    Louisiana

    Total Score: 40.09

    Educational Attainment: 125

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 101

  • 126. Lancaster, PA

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign at the state border

    Total Score: 39.67

    Educational Attainment: 128

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 73

  • 127. Flint, MI

    Michigan

    Michigan Welcome Sign – summer time.

    Total Score: 39.49

    Educational Attainment: 124

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 126

  • 128. Canton-Massillon, OH

    Ohio

    WELCOME TO OHIO – traffic sign message

    Total Score: 39.48

    Educational Attainment: 129

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 75

  • 129. York-Hanover, PA

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign at the state border

    Total Score: 39.10

    Educational Attainment: 127

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 98

  • 130. Reading, PA

    Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign at the state border

    Total Score: 37.17

    Educational Attainment: 131

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 113

  • 131. Rockford, IL

    Illinois

    Total Score: 36.92

    Educational Attainment: 130

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 131

  • 132. Mobile, AL

    Alabama

    Total Score: 36.88

    Educational Attainment: 132

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 80

  • 133. Lafayette, LA

    Louisiana

    Louisiana stateline sign

    Total Score: 36.17

    Educational Attainment: 137

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 6

  • 134. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

    Ohio

    WELCOME TO OHIO – traffic sign message

    Total Score: 35.22

    Educational Attainment: 133

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 88

  • 135. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH

    West Virginia

    West Virginia flag on a flagpole waving in the wind, blue sky background. 3d rendering.

    Total Score: 34.97

    Educational Attainment: 134

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 64

  • 136. Riverside-San Bernardino- Ontario, CA

    Riverside

    Daytime skyline aerial view of downtown Riverside, California, USA.

    Total Score: 33.48

    Educational Attainment: 136

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 67

  • 137. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 32.21

    Educational Attainment: 140

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 61

  • 138. El Paso, TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 31.90

    Educational Attainment: 139

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 81

  • 139. Fresno, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score:

    Educational Attainment:

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap:

  • 140. Salinas, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score: 29.61

    Educational Attainment: 141

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 115

  • 141. Corpus Christi,TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 29.26

    Educational Attainment: 138

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 139

  • 142. Ocala, FL

    Florida

    Florida directional sign

    Total Score: 28.74

    Educational Attainment: 135

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 149

  • 143. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 28.08

    Educational Attainment: 143

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 96

  • 144. Stockton, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score: 25.84

    Educational Attainment: 145

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 97

  • 145. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC

    Hickory

    Downtown Hickory NC

    Total Score: 24.75

    Educational Attainment: 144

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 145

  • 146. Modesto, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score: 20.58

    Educational Attainment: 146

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 142

  • 147. Bakersfield, CA

    Total Score: 16.74

    Educational Attainment: 147

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 136

  • 148. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 14.88

    Educational Attainment: 150

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 9

  • 149. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX

    Texas

    State flag of Texas waving in the wind. Dramatic sky background. 3d illustration.

    Total Score: 10.34

    Educational Attainment: 149

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 121

  • 150. Visalia, CA

    California

    California state – road sign map

    Total Score: 9.09

    Educational Attainment: 148

    Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 147

  • Most Educated Cities

    Two North Carolina Cities Are Among The Most Educated In The Country

    • 30. Lansing-East Lansing, MI

      Landing

      Lansing, Michigan, USA at the Michigan State Capitol during the evening.

      Total Score: 62.3

      Educational Attainment: 38

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 26

    • 29. Urban Honolulu, HI

      Honolulu

      Beautiful rainbow over the Hawaii skyline

      Total Score: 62.49

      Educational Attainment:

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap:

    • 28. Asheville, NC

      Asheville

      Asheville, North Carolina, USA at twilight.

      Total Score: 62.61

      Educational Attainment: 38

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 26

    • 27. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

      Connecticut

      Total Score: 64.07

      Educational Attainment: 21

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 127

    • 26. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA

      Total Score: 64.97

      Educational Attainment: 28

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 20

    • 25. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

      New York city

      NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 27: A view of the skyline from the Allspring Global Investments: New Brand Launch at PEAK at Hudson Yards on April 27, 2022 in New York City.

      Total Score: 65.23

      Educational Attainment: 27

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 16

    • 24. Lexington-Fayette, KY

      Lexington

      Aerial view of Jacobson Park Lake and Richmond Road in Lexington, Kentucky

      Total Score: 66.17

      Educational Attainment: 23

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 31

    • 23. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

      Maryland

      Total Score: 67.07

      Educational Attainment: 18

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 118

    • 22. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

      San Diego

      Total Score: 67.13

      Educational Attainment: 25

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 3

    • 21. Huntsville, AL

      Huntsville

      Huntsville, Alabama, USA park and downtown cityscape at twilight.

      Total Score: 67.41

      Educational Attainment: 24

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 12

    • 20. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

      Albany

      The New York State Capitol Building in Albany, home of the New York State Assembly. Monument of General Sherman on horseback.

      Total Score: 67.58

      Educational Attainment: 20

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 83

    • 19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

      Minneapolis

      Image of Minneapolis downtown skyline at sunset.

      Total Score: 68.12

      Educational Attainment: 13

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 116

    • 18. Tallahassee, FL

      Tallahassee

      Aerial photo Downtown Tallahassee Florida State Capitol

      Total Score: 68.47

      Educational Attainment: 22

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 7

    • 17. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

      Portland

      Portland, Oregon, USA downtown skyline with Mt. Hood at dawn.

      Total Score: 69.24

      Educational Attainment: 19

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 50

    • 16. Portland-South Portland, ME

      Portland

      Portland, Maine, USA coastal townscape on Portland Harbor.

      Total Score: 69.58

      Educational Attainment: 16

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 70

    • 15. Trenton-Princeton, NJ

      Trenton

      The capital statehouse of New Jersey lights up as the sun sets the Delaware River in the background city of Trenton

      Total Score: 70.11

      Educational Attainment: 15

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 71

    • 14. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

      Denver

      Total Score: 70.78

      Educational Attainment: 12

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 79

    • 13. Colorado Springs, CO

      Colorado Springs

      Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

      Total Score: 71.64

      Educational Attainment: 14

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 30

    • 12. Provo-Orem, UT

      Provo

      Aerial view of Provo City, Utah, Y Mountain, Brigham Young University, and surrounded neighborhoods

      Total Score: 71.73

      Educational Attainment: 17

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 24

    • 11. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

      Bridgeport

      Fayerweather Island, Black Rock Harbor, Bridgeport, Connecticut, lighthouse

      Total Score: 71.96

      Educational Attainment: 8

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 146

    • 10. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX

      Austin

      Total Score: 73.84

      Educational Attainment: 11

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 13

    • 9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

      Seattle

      Panoramic view of Seattle cityscape and Space Needle at sunset, Washington, USA

      Total Score: 75.34

      Educational Attainment: 10

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 14

    • 8. Raleigh-Cary, NC

      Total Score: 77.08

      Educational Attainment: 7

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 44

    • 7. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

      Durham NC

      Durham, North Carolina, USA downtown cityscape.

      Total Score: 78.06

      Educational Attainment: 9

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 4

    • 6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

      Boston

      Boston, Massachusetts, USA skyline over Boston Common.

      Total Score: 78.26

      Educational Attainment: 6

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 47

    • 5. San Fransisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

      San Fransisco

      The crookedest street in the world Lombard street at dawn. San Francisco is lightened by morning sun.

      Total Score: 80.77

      Educational Attainment: 4

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 17

    • 4. Madison, WI

      Madison

      Madison, Wisconsin, USA downtown skyline on Lake Monona in the daytime.

      Total Score: 80.83

      Educational Attainment: 2

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 49

    • 3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

      Total Score: 81.78

      Educational Attainment: 3

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 27

    • 2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

      San Jose

      Total Score: 82.03

      Educational Attainment: 5

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap: 5

    • 1. Ann Arbor, MI

      Ann Arbor

      University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. This campus is known as the Law Quad. The buildings show the Lawyers Club, a dormitory.

      Total Score:

      Educational Attainment:

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap:

    • Methodology (From WalletHub)

      To identify the most and least educated cities in America, WalletHub compared the 150 most populated U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across two key dimensions, including “Educational Attainment” and “Quality of Education & Attainment Gap.”

      We evaluated those dimensions using 11 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest educational attainment and quality of education. For metrics marked with two asterisks (**), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

      Finally, we determined each metro area’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

      Educational Attainment – Total Points: 80

      • Share of Adults Aged 25 & Older with a High School Diploma or Higher: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
      • Share of Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least Some College Experience or an Associate’s Degree or Higher: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
      • Share of Adults Aged 25 & Older with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
      • Share of Adults Aged 25 & Older with a Graduate or Professional Degree: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)

      Quality of Education & Attainment Gap – Total Points: 20

      • Quality of Public School System: Double Weight (~4.44 Points)
        Note: This metric is based on GreatSchools.org’s ratings of U.S. public schools.
      • Average Quality of Universities: Double Weight (~4.44 Points)
        Note: This metric is based on WalletHub “College & University” rankings report.
      • Enrolled Students in Top 1,015 Universities per Capita: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
        Note: This metric is based on WalletHub “College & University” rankings report.
      • Number of Summer Learning Opportunities per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
      • Racial Education Gap*: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
        Note: This metric specifically measures the difference between the percentage of black bachelor’s degree holders and the percentage of their white counterparts.
      • Gender Education Gap*: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
        Note: This metric specifically measures the difference between the percentage of female bachelor’s degree holders and the percentage of their male counterparts.
      • Education Equality Index Score: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
        Note: The Education Equality Index (EEI) is a comparative measure of the achievement gap between students from low-income families, as measured by participation in the free and reduced price lunch program, and their more advantaged peers. The EEI compares the proportion of students from low-income families who are proficient on a state assessment to all students across the state who took that same grade or subject level assessment.

      *Additional context: In metro areas where women have an advantage over men and black people have an advantage over white people, we gave extra credit compared to the metro areas with no gender-based/racial inequality.

      Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, GreatSchools.org, Education Cities.org, Yelp and WalletHub research.

    • Smartest States

      Study Ranked The Smartest States And South Carolina Its Not You

      • America's Smartest States (15 Lowest Ranking States)

      • 50. West Virginia

        Total Score: 12.6

        West Virginia

      • 49. Mississippi

        Total Score: 13.3

        Mississippi

      • 48. Louisiana

        Total Score: 15.2

        Louisiana

      • 47. Arkansas

        Total Score: 19.1

        Arkansas

      • 46. Nevada

        Total Score: 20.0

        Nevada

      • 45. New Mexico

        Total Score: 20.4

        New Mexico

        Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape and street at twilight.

      • 44. Alabama

        Total Score: 22.4

        Alabama

      • 43. Oklahoma

        Total Score: 22.4

        Oklahoma

      • 42. Texas

        Total Score: 23.9

        Texas

      • 41. South Carolina

        Total Score: 28.0

        White more than double the bottom two on this list, SC did still sore a dismal 28.0. In contrast the “smartest” state on this list scored a 93.9.

        South Carolina Small towns summer

      • 40. Kentucky

        Total Score: 30.5

        Kentucky

      • 39. Florida

        Total Score: 32.4

        Jacksonville, Florida Skyline

      • 38. Tennessee

        Total Score: 34.2

        Memphis Tennessee TN Downtown Drone Skyline Aerial.

      • 37. Arizona

        Total Score: 35.9

        Arizona

      • 36. Idaho

        Total Score: 36.5

        Idaho

      • Top 15 Smartest States

      • 15. Nebraska

        Total Score: 52.5

        Nebraska

      • 14. Kansas

        Total Score: 53.3

        Liberty Memorial and Union Station aerial views, downtown Kansas City

      • 13. Utah

        Total Score: 55.5

        Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City. Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons

      • 12. Maine

        Total Score: 55.8

        Maine

      • 11. New York

        Total Score: 57.8

        New York

      • 10. Washington

        Total Score: 60.3

        Washington State

      • 9. Minnesota

        Total Score: 67.0

        Minnesota

      • 8. Colorado

        Total Score: 69.4

        Colorado

      • 7. New Jersey

        Total Score: 69.5

        New Jersey

      • 6. New Hampshire

        Total Score: 70.5

        New Hampshire

      • 5. Vermont

        Total Score: 72.2

        Vermont

      • 4. Virginia

        Total Score: 72.5

        Virginia

      • 3. Maryland

        Total Score: 72.8

        Maryland

      • 2. Connecticut

        Total Score: 73.8

        Connecticut

      • 1. Massachusetts

        Total Score: 93.9

        Massachusetts decidedly takes the win, with a score a full 20 points higher than the 2nd place state.

        Massachusetts