Higher Education and Urban Prosperity

Yesterday’s NYTimes included an article about the link between the number of college graduates in an urban area and the success of the city/region.

Prof. Bob called this to our attention for sharing with our readers. He wrote: “Fascinating article in today’s NY Times on the role/importance of  colleges and college students in the successful transformation of once powerful manufacturing economies into 21st century innovation centers. Worth consideration by lots of folks in and around Lowell. I shudder to think what the Greater-Lowell economy would look like absent the presence of UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, and Saints and  Lowell General hospitals.”

We are fortunate to have groups like the Public Matters leadership corps, Young Professionals, Emerging Generation network, the Foundation (I think that’s the right name), and others organizing and providing mutual support in the community, where we hope many of them will continue to live, work, raise kids, create, and contribute to the greater good. Here is the report by Sabrina Tavernise. Get the NYT if you want more of this kind of news.

Dayton sits on one side of a growing divide among American cities, in which a small number of metro areas vacuum up a large number of college graduates, and the rest struggle to keep those they have.

The winners are metro areas like Raleigh, N.C., San Francisco and Stamford, Conn., where more than 40 percent of the adult residents have college degrees. The Raleigh area has a booming technology sector and several major research universities; San Francisco has been a magnet for college graduates for decades; and metropolitan Stamford draws highly educated workers from white-collar professions in New York like finance.

Metro areas like Bakersfield, Calif., Lakeland, Fla., and Youngstown, Ohio, where less than a fifth of the adult residents have college degrees, are being left behind. The divide shows signs of widening as college graduates gravitate to places with many other college graduates and the atmosphere that creates.

2 Responses to Higher Education and Urban Prosperity

  1. Arthur says:

    Does anyone know the figures for Lowell/Greater Lowell?
    City-Data reports that 18.1% of the Lowell residents age 25 or over had Bachelor’s degrees . That is as of 2009, however.

  2. Bob Forrant says:

    From one usually reliable source: Roughly 30% have an Associates Degree, or a BA, or a BA plus an advanced degree. Figure nationally is about 36%.