16 November, 2011

Palo Alto Is California's Most Educated City

Local residents have highest rate of bachelor's degree and graduate degree attainment

Palo Alto is California's most educated city, according to a report by California Watch.

Nearly eight in 10 residents aged 25 and older have earned at least a bachelor's degree.

In addition, Palo Altans have the states highest rate of graduate or professional degree attainment -- 49.8 percent.

The data come from a California Watch analysis of the 2008-2010 American Community Survey, a statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. California Watch is a project of the nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting.

Statewide, 80.6 percent of Californians have at least a high school diploma, about 30 percent have bachelor's degrees or higher and 10.9 percent have a graduate or professional degree.

About 10.5 percent of Californians have less than a ninth-grade education.

Compared with the rest of the nation, California has a slightly higher rate of bachelor's and graduate degree attainment, but also more residents with less than a ninth-grade education.

Trailing Palo Alto on the top-10 most educated California cities list, in terms of bachelors-degree-or-higher attainment, are: Los Altos at 76.2 percent; Saratoga at 75.9 percent; Cupertino at 73.4 percent; Manhattan Beach at 72.9 percent; Lafayette at 71.4 percent; La Canada Flintridge at 70.7 percent; Davis at 69.1 percent; Berkeley at 68.4 percent and Menlo Park at 68.1 percent.

Topping the list of cities with the highest percentage of residents with less than a ninth-grade education is Bell Gardens, with 44.9 percent, followed by Maywood with 44.5 percent; Florence-Graham with 43 percent; Cudahy with 37.9 percent; Lennox with 37.6 percent; Bell with 36.5 percent; East Los Angeles with 36 percent; Watsonville with 35.4 percent; Huntington Park with 34.9 percent and Coachella with 34.7 percent.

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