Thursday, October 28, 2010
So the Daily Beast gave us us a boost the other day in moving us up from 27th to 21st in their 2nd annual ranking of ‘smartest cities’. They seem to aggregate several metrics including “libraries per capita”, but also de rigueur is a measure of educational attainment. Specifically they measure those with a bachelors degree or higher in the population. They do what everyone else does and measures the educational attainment of the population 25 and over. That’s fine for a lot of regions, but as I point out for Pittsburgh it is not so insightful. An older region, with lots more folks who grew up in an age when grad school, college, even high school was just not as common as today. So for us what you get is a measure as much reflecting our age demographic. Take it out, and what do you get? From what I have compiled we rank a lot closer to the top in terms of educational attainment .. especially when you look at the younger parts of the labor force, we may in fact be the single most educated place in the nation.
So the question is... are we getting smarter or younger? and anyway, do thinks like this really change that much year over year? Educational attainment can't change over night and (as Jim R. likes to talk about) is really one of those mesofacts. There is your new word of the day. JimR is coming to town next week btw.