slides: Rhode Island’s 25 Smartest Neighborhoods
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
If you're curious as to where they end up, data available on The Providence Plan's website shows you exactly where Rhode Islanders with high school, bachelor's, and advanced degrees live -- broken down as far as census tract.
You can see how many people in your general neighborhood area hold what degrees, as well as residents of your town or city, and finally, a "global" perspective of where the state's population as a whole live.
So where do the "smartest" Rhode Island residents live?
According to the data, which looks at numbers taken from 2006 through 2010, when the last U.S. Census was taken, of the total population over 25 at the time of 708,598 Rhode Islanders, 592,800 were high school graduates or higher; 214,958 had bachelors degrees or higher, and 84,177 had graduate degrees or higher.
Broken down, that correlates into 83.7% of the over 25 population statewide having a high school diploma; 30.3 percent having completed undergraduate school, and 11.9 percent having a graduate degree during that time.
However, those numbers vary widely by community, which ProvPlan provided the data for as well. So which communities had the highest percentage of residents with college degrees?
While some communities had pockets of more densely populated degree holders, Providence had the highest percentage of masters' degree holders overall.
CFO Consulting Group's Brett Smiley, who has opened an exploratory committee to consider run for Mayor of Providence, weighed in on the findings.
GoLocal looked at the percentage of residents in census data tract who held a masters degree -- or higher -- and ranked them below.
See Which Rhode Island Communities Have the Highest Percentage of Graduate Degree-Holding Residents
"Obviously, the overwhelming determinant of income is education level," said Aaron Renn, who writes about state and local affairs on his website, The Urbanphile.
"Ed Glaeser, who wrote Triumph of the City, looked a number of American cities, especially the Rust Belt, and showed that the difference between a Boston and a Cleveland -- strictly crunching the numbers -- could be overwhelmingly explained by college degrees."
"CEOs for Cities has done a bunch of research -- in particular the "Talent Dividend," in which Joe Cortright showed that increasing the four-year college attainment rate by just one percent the country's top 51 metro markets would be associated with a $124 billion increase in aggregate personal income."
However, Renn saw the current mode of higher education delivery -- and cost -- as being prime for "tremendous disruption."
"Higher education is running out of gas to function in its current model. They're cramming students full of debt. They've treated students like sub-prime mortgages," said Renn. The colleges and universities are getting cash up front, the government is covering the loans -- and the students are on the hook."
Renn said he believes that MOOCs -- "Massive Open Online Courses" will be part of "a radical reconstruction" of how education is delivered -- and obtained.
InfoWorks used to report on mothers' education precisely because it was such a huge predictor of the kid's success. High correlation. Just as there is a super high correlation between family money and success. When my kid runs into trouble, I buy him help, a better school, support services, specialists.
Steiny further touched upon the correlation between academic achievement as it pertained to economic impact. "My son is looking to buy a house and he shows me a list of the "best schools" in MA. I point out that all he's done is shown me the SAT scores sorted. SAT is directly correlated with family income. Sort the SAT scores and you just about have median family income," said Steiny, who mentioned that median family income and SAT are on the InfoWorks state pages. "They'll sort just fine. Print them and compare," said Steiny of the correlation between SAT scores -- and income.
Like Renn, Steiny thought that higher education costs were coming to a breaking point however. "College is ruining some families. I hate to think of how many kids paid tuition at CCRI, but never managed to finish a degree. They still owe on the loans."
Special Thanks to the Providence Plan for their expertise and data analysis.
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