San Diego citizenry could be smarter

Can't blame weather — Honolulu ranked higher in education

WalletHub, the statistics aggregator that reports on cities, metro areas, and states, says San Diego is 38th among 150 metro areas in education of its citizenry.

The study looked at percent of adults aged 25 and older with high school, associate's, bachelor's, and graduates or professional degrees. It also attempted to measure quality of education: rank of public schools system; average quality of universities, and educational opportunities for blacks and women.

The four best metro areas are known for their universities: Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Washington DC area; Madison, Wisconsin; and Provo-Orem Utah. The four lowest: McAllen, Texas; Bakersfield and Visalia, California; and Brownsville, Texas.

The San Diego area ranks 42nd in education level of the populace, and 29th in quality of that education.

Some metro areas with which San Diego competes do better in education: Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Jose, Denver, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Honolulu, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.

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Don - I think wha is happening is rental building. Seen since Great Recession.

Fact: The more rental housing units vs. ownership housing units the lower the quality of life. People who own have a stake in the community. They care what the quality of life is. They care about the schools. They not only invest in their home they invest in their community. Lower crime rate. The safest and best quality of life communities are those with high home ownership. The communities with high rental rates have the lowest quality of life and the highest crime rates. It is what it is. Builders will build whatever is selling and currently it is apartments.

AlexClarke: San Diego's home ownership rate has generally lagged that of the state and the nation. The long-time average has been around 55. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: I'm not sure I understand what "rental building" has to do with the general education level. San Diego County has very high housing and rental housing prices. It's supply and demand. Best, Don Bauder

This report is surprising in that previous such rankings, over many years, have shown San Diego County to rank very high in "educational level." Frankly, I was skeptical of many such reports just based on personal observation. But they had the area ranked quite high on the percentage of holders of bachelors degrees and higher degrees.

I can only speculate if changing local demographics have had something to do with the standing. We are seeing many tax refugees fleeing California for purely economic reasons, especially among retirees with guaranteed fixed incomes. Since the population hasn't dropped, those refugees to lower-tax states are replaced by new arrivals, many of which don't have a high level of education.

The quality of the education can be downgraded because of the state's low ranking on per capita cost per student. California is now near the bottom of the list, whereas it once was high. But to have any place in Hawaii ranked higher is a bitter pill. That state was the real cellar-dweller as far as educational achievement, and I will question its standing. Another one I have is Milwaukee, now called the most racially segregated city in the US. Can it have it both ways? As with so many of these rankings and surveys, we should not accept one of them as fact. The magazines that publish rankings often pay little attention to the validity of the stats that go into them, being far more concerned with the impact of circulation.

Many of the people I worked with fled California when they retired. The number one reason was home prices. They could sell their home here and buy/build a larger/nicer home and still put money in the bank. The number two reason was taxes. Number 3 was transportation costs (gas, insurance, registration). Their retirement income went further "there" than here. "There", for the most part, is Washington, Ore, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona.

AlexClarke: Absolutely. Selling a California home and buying one in a lower-priced area can often be very good financial strategy. Best, Don Bauder

Visduh: California has been slashing its spending on education, particularly higher education. That will hurt and is probably already hurting.

Yes, there have been studies saying San Diego was quite high in educational level of its citizenry. But it depends how this is calculated. Best, Don Bauder

I'd make a guess that it's number one in climate. It would be interesting to make comparisons adjusted for heating and cooling costs, street conditions, crime, and most of all, civility, and self-righteousness indices.


Twister: San Diego could well be ranked number one in climate. Electricity costs are the highest in the country, but San Diegans use less energy than other cities because of the ideal climate. Best, Don Bauder

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