Three of Connecticut’s metropolitan areas are among the top 50 most educated in the nation, according to a new analysis. The Bridgeport/Norwalk/Stamford, Hartford/East Hartford/West Hartford and New Haven/Milford “metropolitan statistical areas” ranked 11th, 24th and 41st respectively.
California had four regions placing among the top 50, New York also had three.
The most educated regions across the country, according to the analysis by the personal finance website WalletHub, are Ann Arbor, San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Washington/Arlington/Alexandria, Durham/Chapel Hill, Madison, San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, Boston/Cambridge/Newton, Seattle/Tacoma, Bellevue, Austin/Round Rock and Provo/Orem.
Just outside the top 10, finishing eleventh, was the Bridgeport/Stamford/Norwalk region, which consists of the entirety of Fairfield County with 23 towns, including the city of Danbury and its immediate suburbs.
WalletHub compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across 11 key metrics.
In one of those metrics the three Connecticut metropolitan areas all placed in the top 20 nationally - in the share of adults age 25 or older with a graduate or professional degree. The Bridgeport/Norwalk/Stamford region ranked #1 in the nation, at 20.6%; greater Hartford/West Hartford/East Hartford ranked #11, with 16.5%; and the New Haven/Milford region ranked #16 with 15.9%.
All three regions all placed in the top 40 in the share of adults age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher, with the Bridgeport MSA ranking fifth in the nation. Hartford was 19th, New Haven ranked 37th.
"Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven metro areas are among the most educated cities mostly due to the large share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree (up to 46% in Bridgeport/Norwalk/Stamford), and the large percentage of adults with at least a graduate or professional degree. Being able to attract highly educated workers benefits these cities, by fueling their economic growth and increasing their tax revenues" said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
Connecticut almost had a slice of a fourth MSA in the top 50. The Worcester, MA metropolitan statistical area includes central Massachusetts and Windham County in Connecticut, and ranked at #55 nationally.
Elsewhere in New England, Manchester/Nashua was 57th, and Providence/Warwick was 95th in the “most educated” rankings.
Metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) are described as a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. A typical metropolitan area is centered on a single large city that wields substantial influence over the region, although the distribution of cities and surrounding towns varies, with some metropolitan areas containing more than one large city with no single municipality holding a substantially dominant position, according to most definitions.