Though often divided by different shades of blue, Durham and Chapel Hill were considered one recently when ranked among the 10 most-educated areas in America.
The neighboring college towns jointly ranked No. 4 in a list of the most-educated cities in the nation’s 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, according to personal-finance website WalletHub.
North Carolina also had a ranking among the 10 least-educated: The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area came in 143rd.
Raleigh ranked 15th on the list, well ahead of the 71st-ranked Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald Sun
For the report, analysts used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, GreatSchools.org and U.S. News & World Report to compare “educational attainment” and “quality of educations and attainment gap.” Nine metrics were considered, including share of adults ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher, racial education gap and quality of the public school system.
The top-10 cities were Ann Arbor, Mich.; Washington, D.C.; San Jose, Calif.; Durham-Chapel Hill; Madison, Wis.; Boston; Provo, Utah; San Francisco; Austin, Texas; and Tallahassee, Fla.
Eight of the bottom 10 were in California (Salinas, Fresno, Modesta, Bakersfield, Visalia) and Texas (Beaumont, Brownfield, McAllen).
Durham-Chapel Hill had the third-highest percentage of graduate or professional degree holders.
The Fayetteville area, which ranked 102nd overall, and Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton were among the lowest for average university quality.
Other North Carolina metro areas in the report were Asheville (ranked 62nd), Winston-Salem (101st, tied for fourth for highest average university quality), and Greensboro-High Point (106th).