STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — In a recent study completed by Advisor Smith, a company that does research on small business, State College was ranked as the eight most educated small city in the United States.
WTAJ spoke with Adrian Mak, co-founder of Advisor Smith, who talked about what factors were involved in conducting this research.
“Small cities were considered if they had populations of 150,000 or less individuals age 25 or older, and we examined the percentage the residents of each metro area that graduated from high school, hold an associates degree, have a bachelor’s degree, or have a graduate degree,” Mak said.
Based on those qualifications, Advisor Smith came up with a composite score, that took into account the residents who have achieved those levels of education.
While Penn State is a major university in town that accounts for a percentage of the State College population, those who are currently studying at the university were not factored in the research.
“You do see a lot of graduates from Penn State, they stay in the area afterward and start businesses or work in the area, and that’s what we saw with a lot of the small towns,” Mak added.
The study states 23.2 percent of State College residents 25 or older have graduate degrees, and 46 percent have bachelor’s degrees, while the national averages are 13 percent for graduate degrees and 35 percent for bachelor’s.
Off all 511 cities that participated, State College ranked 13th nationwide when the study was all said and done, beating out larger cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia by sizable margins. Adrian says the difference between small cities and large cities came down to what drives the local economy.
“The small cities as I mentioned tend to be college towns, the mid sized cities are a mix of college towns and places that don’t necessarily host a college, while the large cities are places that are driven by knowledge industries.”
You can find the link to the full study here: https://advisorsmith.com/data/the-most-and-least-educated-cities-in-america/.