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Press Release

Urban Cores Now Among Most Educated Parts of Metropolitan Areas, Says Cleveland Fed Researcher

Over the last 10 years, areas in or near the central business districts of major metropolitan areas have increasingly become home to individuals with college degrees. Today, educational attainment rates in urban cores are, on average, nearly identical to those in neighborhoods far away from the core, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researcher Kyle Fee.

Fee looked at how college graduates are spatially distributed (often referred to as the BA attainment rate) within the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Ranking high in BA attainment rates near their cores are technology-oriented areas like Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco and very densely populated areas like Chicago and New York.

Within the Fourth District, Fee notes that Pittsburgh’s BA attainment rate in the urban core was among the top 20 in the nation; Cleveland ranked among the bottom 10.

Read Population Distribution and Educational Attainment within MSAs

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.218.1892