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St. Louis area gets slightly smarter in last year, survey shows

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SLPS hold graduation ceremonies at Busch Stadium

Roosevelt High School student McKenzie Peyton walks back to her seat on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, after receiving her 2021 high school diploma at Busch Stadium. Photo by Christian Gooden, Gooden@post-dispatch.com

People in the St. Louis area must have spent some time hitting the books last year, as we are rated as being a tad smarter than we were the year before.

When it comes to the most-educated U.S. metropolitan areas, our mighty metro comes in at No. 45 out of the largest 150, according to personal-finance website WalletHub.

That’s a few slots better than last year’s No. 48 ranking in 2021, and a sign that we may have halted a short slide in grades. (We were No. 37 in 2019 and No. 42 in 2020.)

The criteria used for the rankings broke down into two categories:

In “educational attainment,” STL was ranked high, No. 35 overall. This category looked at the percentage of residents, 25 years or older, who had earned high-school diplomas and college degrees.

But in the area of “quality of education and attainment gap,” we registered only at No. 137 out of 150.

That category took into account factors such as: quality of public schools and universities; share of students enrolled in universities; summer learning opportunities; and both the racial and gender education gaps.

Two of our major-metro neighbors finished higher: Chicago (31) and Kansas City (40). Sitting farther back in class were Nashville, Tennessee (48); Cincinnati (56); Indianapolis (67); Louisville, Kentucky (94); and Memphis, Tennessee (104).

The most-educated U.S. metro was Ann Arbor, Michigan; the least, Visalia-Porterville, California.

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