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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

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L.A. Cities Fall Behind in Education List

Silicon Valley is home to the highest percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Palo Alto has been named California's most educated city, according to an analysis based on newly released census data, conducted by the California Department of Finance Demographic Research Unit.

Image courtesy Associated Press
Image courtesy Associated Press

About 8 out of 10 Palo Alto residents age 25 and older hold at least a bachelor's degree. The city is also home the the state's highest rate of graduate or professional degrees: 48.6 percent, according to the 2008-2010 American Community Survey.

The study data comes only from those 25 years and older and from cities with a population of at least 20,000.

Other cities in the Silicon Valley also dominate top spots on the most educated list.

Percentage of residents age 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher:

1. Palo Alto, 79.7 percent
2. Los Altos, 76.2 percent
3. Saratoga, 75.9 percent
4. Cupertino, 73.4 percent
5. Manhattan Beach, 72.9 percent
6. Lafayette, 71.4 percent
7. La Canada Flintridge, 70.7 percent
8. Davis, 69.1 percent
9. Berkeley, 68.4 percent
10. Menlo park, 68.1 percent

On the other end of the spectrum, several Southern California cities populated the least educated list.

Percentage of residents who completed less than ninth grade:

1. Bell Gardens, 44.9 percent
2. Maywood, 44.5 percent
3. Florence-Graham, 43 percent
4. Cudahy, 37.9 percent
5. Lennox, 37.6 percent
6. Bell, 36.5 percent
7. East Los Angeles, 36 percent
8. Watsonville, 35.4 percent
9. Huntington Park, 34.9 percent
10. Coachella, 34.7 percent

Across the state, 80.6 percent of Californians are at least high school graduates. Thirty percent have a bachelor's degree and 10.9 percent have a graduate or professional degree.

Compared to the rest of the United States, California has a slightly higher rate of people with college degrees. However, the state also has more residents with less than a ninth-grade education.

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