Looking at the educationally rich Washington D.C. metro area

Based on recently released figures from the 2009 American Community Survey, the Washington Post describes the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, the most educated region in the country:

The data, drawn from questionnaires, underscore the academic primacy of the Washington area: 47 percent of adults – or nearly 2 million – hold bachelor’s degrees, the highest rate among the nation’s large urban areas. Six of the 10 best-educated U.S. counties are within commuting distance of the District.

Half of all degrees in the region are in natural and social sciences, well above the national average, under a broad Census Bureau definition of “science” that includes everything from nuclear physics to sociology. That’s a starting point for looking at variations within the region: So-called hard sciences reign beyond the Beltway, soft ones within.

There are some other interesting facts in here as well, such as the finding that the proportion of people of business degrees in the region is lower than the national average.

What I would be interested to know is how these statistics change the day-to-day lived experience of an average resident of the region. Are there more civic events with more involvement from nearby residents? Is there a large perceived gap between the lives of those who are well educated and those with less education? Do people strike up deeper conversations at any gathering? Does this concentration of people lead to more interdisciplinary work and research?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s