Franklin, Nashville ranked middle of the pack in study on most educated cities

Franklin, Nashville ranked middle of the pack in study on most educated cities

PHOTO: Jayden Hubbard edits his video inside the Center for Innovation in Media at MTSU during a journalism camp for high school students in July of 2018./MTSU photo courtesy Jimmy Hart


Due to an emphasis on higher education, Nashville became known as the Athens of the South in the 1800s. But according to new data, that title may now more closely fit another Southern stronghold.

In personal finance website WalletHub’s comparison of the 150 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the country, the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin area came in 61st, with a total score of 49.86.

Home to Duke University, the Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina came in fourth, with a 72.77 score.

The University of Michigan’s home base of Ann Arbor received top accolades, with a 92.57 score.

The study was undertaken as a way to understand which business communities educated people are seeking to move and put their degrees to use in.

Source: WalletHub


In the study, WalletHub measured two metrics: “Educational Attainment” and “Quality of Education & Attainment Gap.”

Educational attainment took into account levels of education, including high school graduation rates and advanced degrees.

The quality of education and attainment gap looked at the quality of public and higher education schools, number of summer learning opportunities per capita, and gender and racial gaps.

The Nashville MSA is ranked 78 for the educational attainment gap measure.

With universities like MTSU, Vanderbilt and Belmont, the Nashville metropolitan area has a wealth of higher education resources.

The study also took into account both the overwrought Metro Nashville Public Schools and Williamson County’s top-ranked public school system.

Data for the survey came from the U.S. Census Bureau,, Education, Yelp and WalletHub research.

Williamson County

In Tennessee, Williamson outpaces the other 94 counties with the most educated workforce.

Ninety-six percent of residents age 25 or older have a high school diploma, and 57 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The high school dropout rate is only four percent for the same population.

But with a burgeoning population and teacher shortage, newcomers could soon face challenges in the same school system.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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