Palo Alto is California's most educated city


The city, which tech giants Facebook and Hewlett-Packard call home, also has the state's highest rate of graduate or professional degrees among residents age 25 and older: 49.8 percent, according to the 2008-10 American Community Survey.

Statewide, 80.6 percent of Californians are at least high school graduates, 3 of 10 have a bachelor's degree or higher, and 10.9 percent have a graduate or professional degree. For 1 in 5 residents, the highest level of education attained is a high school diploma or equivalent. More than 2.5 million reached less than ninth grade in school, including nearly 553,000 -- 2.3 percent of the state's population -- who completed no schooling, data show.

Compared with the rest of the nation, California has slightly higher rates of bachelor's and graduate or professional degrees. But it also has more residents with less than a ninth-grade education: 10.5 percent versus 6.2 percent.

Below are the 10 most and least educated cities in California, according to an analysis by the California Department of Finance's Demographic Research Unit. The list is based on educational attainment data for residents age 25 and older and includes only places with a population of 20,000 or more.

Percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher:

  • Palo Alto, 79.7 percent
  • Los Altos, 76.2 percent
  • Saratoga, 75.9 percent
  • Cupertino, 73.4 percent
  • Manhattan Beach, 72.9 percent
  • Lafayette, 71.4 percent
  • La Cañada Flintridge, 70.7 percent
  • Davis, 69.1 percent
  • Berkeley, 68.4 percent
  • Menlo Park, 68.1 percent

Percentage of residents who completed less than ninth grade:

  • Bell Gardens, 44.9 percent
  • Maywood, 44.5 percent
  • Florence-Graham, 43 percent
  • Cudahy, 37.9 percent
  • Lennox, 37.6 percent
  • Bell, 36.5 percent
  • East Los Angeles, 36 percent
  • Watsonville, 35.4 percent
  • Huntington Park, 34.9 percent
  • Coachella, 34.7 percent

Story courtesy of our media partners at California Watch (A Project of the Center for Investigative Reporting)

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