Mass. Towns Land Spots on US Most Educated List

Wellesley College’s campus.
Wellesley College’s campus. –The Boston Globe

There’s no debating it: Living in Wellesley, Brookline, Newton, or Lexington is clearly a very smart move. Or at least that’s what one recent ranking of the most educated places in America is telling us.

According to the study on American cities sporting “populations with higher levels of educational attainment than others,’’ there are just two towns in the country that are more educated than Wellesley.

Massachusetts dominated the top 10 with four cities being listed. Maryland was the next closest, with three cities.

Wellesley is lauded on the list for its high percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree, its public school system, and, of course, Hillary Clinton’s alma mater.


Only 10 percent of Wellesley’s population reportedly didn’t finish high school and 83 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The study’s findings are based primarily on the academic achievement of a town’s residents because, in part, “only approximately 30 percent of Americans 25 years and older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher,’’ according to Nerd Wallet, the data-driven consumer website that conducted the study.

The formula used to reach the study’s conclusions includes five parts:

1. Percentage of population with at least a high school diploma or associate’s degree: 40 percent of overall score

2. Percentage of population with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30 percent of overall score

3. Percentage of population with a master’s degree: 10 percent of overall score

4. Percentage of population with a doctorate degree: 10 percent of overall score

5. Percentage of population with a professional degree: 10 percent of overall score

Directly behind Wellesley on the list is Brookline, which is credited with nearly half of its residents having masters degrees. It’s unclear, however, if Brookline’s inclusion on the list of “snobbiest’’ small cities was a contributing factor for this one.

Newton and Lexington placed sixth and seventh, respectively, with both cities being recognized for their public school systems.

Cambridge, Arlington, and Northampton, the only other Bay State cities to be named on the list, were buried deeper down on the list, which identified the top 100 educated cities in the US.

Book smarts certainly is not the end-all, be-all to validating one’s intelligence, but don’t try arguing that with the residents of the above cities. Especially the reported snobs in Brookline.

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