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What's the Most Highly Educated City in America?

We know we need more college graduates, but some cities are more on track than others.

While record numbers of adults over the age of 25 have college degrees, we know we need more people to access higher education so that they're prepared for the jobs of the future. The Lumina Foundation, which focuses on boosting the number of students enrolling and graduating from college, has set a big goal of 60 percent of adults having at least an associate's degree by 2025. They crunched the most recent U.S. Census data and found that of the 100 most populous metro areas, some cities are closer to that goal than others.

According to the data, the Washington, D.C. metro area is the most highly educated in the nation with 54.37 percent of adults having an associate's degree or higher. With those kind of numbers, it's no wonder that for the past two years D.C. has been named the most literate city in the nation. Given that the demands of a highly educated workforce are high in Silicon Valley, it's no surprise that San Jose, California metro area came in a close second, with 54.08 percent. And, since many colleges and universities are in close proximity, the Boston area came in third with 54.01 percent.

However, at the other end of the lists are cities like Bakersfield, California, which came in second-to-last with only 21.33 percent of adults having an associate's degree or higher. The McAllen, Texas metro area only has 20.78 percent. Since the number of bachelor's degree holders nationally has only climbed about 5 percent since 2001, it's highly unlikely that either place will hit the 60 percent goal, unless state and local education agencies make a serious push to change those rates.

Curious where your town ranks? Here are the top 20 most highly educated cities:

Photo via (cc) Flick user Jason Bache.

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