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Provo ranks 4th for most educated city in America, website says

Provo ranks 4th for most educated city in America, website says

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PROVO — A recent analysis from a personal finance website ranks Provo as the fourth most educated city for 2014.

Provo came in fourth behind Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was ranked No. 1, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina, and Durham, North Carolina.

"It's clear that education is an important part of who we are as a community," Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman said. "We collectively value an ongoing education as part of living a high quality of life."

Jill Gonzalez, spokeswoman for WalletHub.com, said the population's education level from high school to Ph.D.s wasa considered in the analysis of the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

The percentage of workers with jobs in computer, engineering and science fields and the number of enrolled students in the top 200 universities per capita were also considered.

"Provo did really well," Gonzalez said. "They actually came in second for percentages of adults with an associate degree."

Provo also ranked fourth for having the highest percentage of high school diploma holders.

The overall No. 4 ranking for Provo was comprised of both the education level and the quality of education in Provo.

Gonzalez said the education level looked at how many adults had a high school diploma, associate degree or higher as well as the number of doctors per capita and the percentage of workers with jobs in computer engineering and science fields.

The quality of education measured the ranking of the public school systems, the average quality of the universities and the number of enrolled students at the top 200 universities per capita.


Provo is a tech hub and often referred to as Silicon Slopes. I think that's the case because we have a real entrepreneurial spirit and are constantly challenging ourselves.

–Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman


Carri Jenkins, spokeswoman for Brigham Young University, said the ranking is greatly affected by having both BYU and Utah Valley University in Utah County.

"Not only does this provide educational opportunities for those who attend both universities, but it also provides an opportunity for our community," she said. "Whether it's the fine arts event (or) the continuing education opportunities at BYU."

The percentage of workers with computer, engineering and science jobs, put Provo in 19th place. Salt Lake City came in 33rd and Ogden at No. 35.

"Provo is a tech hub and often referred to as Silicon Slopes," Norman said. "I think that's the case because we have a real entrepreneurial spirit and are constantly challenging ourselves."

In particular, Norman referenced resources like Google Fiber that provide opportunities to the community.

Jenkins said not only are students being recruited from both universities to work in the computer, engineering and science jobs, but also from Salt Lake County.

"It not only provides a job for our graduates from our universities here and along the Wasatch Front, and will across the state, but it also attracts other businesses and companies to come into the state," Jenkins said.

Gonzalez echoed Jenkins and said that education is good for cities, not just in Utah but across the country.

"We found that metro areas that really invested in their education system and increased their amount of well-educated workers, you know ultimately have stronger cities," she said. "Not only brian power-wise, but also in the economic sense as well."

Although BYU does have an enrollment cap, Jenkins said the school has received more applications. She said generally BYU students are very ambitious.

"They are really looking at how they can go out and not only make their mark in the world, but also really look at how they can contribute to their communities and to really make the world a better place for all of us," she said.

Salt Lake City ranked as the 46th most educated city, with an education level ranking of 36 and and was ranked 74 in education quality.

Ogden was ranked 89. The education level of Ogden ranked 47th out of 150 and the quality of education was 132.

"It was interesting to see how many people stick around and kind of do high school in a place and then choose not to pursue any higher education," Gonzalez said. "That's where you're going to see the biggest difference."

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Emilee Eagar

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