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According to New Studies, Washington Residents Are the Smartest and the Richest

It’s okay to brag. (A little.)

The Washington area is home to lots of smart—and rich—people. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Washington-area parents, rejoice: You now have evidence for your children that the more educated you are, the richer you’re likely to become. But judging by two recent studies, many of you already knew that. According to the studies—one conducted by William Yu of UCLA and the other by—DC residents are both the most educated and the richest in the country.

Working for First 5 LA’s Early Childhood Education conference, Yu tracked “city human capital index” by measuring the average amount of education people in different metropolitan areas received, according to census statistics. What he found was that though New York and Philadelphia have had better sports teams for some time, they only rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to the original kind of schooling. Los Angeles, Houston, Las Vegas, and Riverside, California, rounded out the bottom of the barrel.

On average, Washingtonians also have more money to spend than their Northeastern counterparts, which is also true compared with people in every other section of the country. According to the study, the Washington area has a median income of $86,680, about $2,000 more than second-place San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California. The Philadelphia area didn’t make the list, but Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York, rounded out the top ten, with a median income of nearly $20,000 less than DC. Interestingly, the poorest areas aren’t too far outside Washington’s backyard—Cumberland, Maryland, ranked ninth on’s list of the ten most impoverished cities.

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