The 10 metropolitan statistical areas with the highest percentage of bachelor’s degrees.
Your parents nagged you to study harder, but they only had your best interests at heart. Education definitely brings financial rewards, as evidenced by this list of metropolitan statistical areas with accomplished residents. Demographers break out and define cluster groups — residents with common characteristics — within each MSA. This information can be useful to marketers who want to understand more about potential customers and cater to their preferences. Of course, cluster group members may have different backgrounds and interests, but on this list they’re all united by scholarship and achievement.
STAMFORD-NORWALK, CONN.; Bachelor’s degree: 51.8% of population
Average household income: $167,860
The top cluster group within Stamford-Norwalk is dubbed Tuxedo Park by demographers, after the gated millionaire’s enclave south of West Point, N.Y. Tuxedo Park refers to the nation’s richest suburbs, ranking tops in both mean/median and household incomes, investments, self-employment and senior executive-managerial occupations. Second homes, fine art, antiques, charities and luxury cars are key interests. Group members are likely to belong to a country club and read two newspapers a day.
BOULDER-LONGMONT, COLO.; Bachelor’s degree: 42.8% of population
Average household income: $82,253
The top cluster group in Boulder-Longmont is called Euro-Boomers. Its members rank in the top 10 percent for executive and professional occupations and mean household income. In a nation of immigrants, two-thirds of all Euro-Boomers are of pan-European ancestry. They are younger than other cluster groups, have fewer children, more working women and double incomes, which affords a lavish lifestyle. They listen to classical, alternative-modern rock, jazz and variety radio formats.
SAN JOSE, CALIF.; Bachelor’s degree: 36.3% of population
Average household income: $129,051
Two-thirds of the population of the top cluster in San Jose — Pacific Medley — is Asian or Hispanic. This group has large households of five or more people. Members perform well in all occupations with solid income and wealth and are car buffs, with many having four or more cars. They attend movies one to three times a month and shopped in a warehouse club in the last six months.4
SAN FRANCISCO; Bachelor’s degree: 35% of population
Average household income $103,014
The top cluster in San Francisco is dubbed East Goes West. Asian immigration, which has risen sharply over the last three decades beginning in the Sixties when a half-million Vietnamese settled in California, continues in waves from the East (Pacific Rim). This group lives in hard-working, upscale, urban neighborhoods. Members read food and fashion magazines and belong to a country club.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-MD.-VA.-W.VA.; Bachelor’s degree: 31% of population
Average household income: $89,462
The top Washington cluster, Glitterati, is primarily comprised of 18- to 34-year-olds. Members of this group have high household incomes and high future earning power with post-graduate degrees. There are few children in households and many singles. Glitterati used a decorating service in the last 12 months and leased their most recent car.
DANBURY, CONN.; Bachelor’s degree: 28.3% of population
Average household income: $102,534
Members of Country Manors, the top cluster group in Danbury, prefer to live as far away from cities as their careers will allow. They build exurban estates on several acres in city suburbs and have large per-capita incomes and a high annual population growth. Residents tend to be self-employed with a substantial ratio of investment income. They are avid skiers, have hot tubs and favor European cars such as Audis, Saabs and Volvos.
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF.; Bachelor’s degree: 24.3% of population
Average household income: $86,580
The top cluster group, Metro Managers, tend to be under 45. Less than a third have children. They are fairly mobile and tend to rent their homes rather than own. Over half are of pan-European ancestry. This group ranks high for per-capita income and executive and professional careers. They travel frequently to Europe and tend to favor Asian cars and SUVs.
SANTA CRUZ-WATSONVILLE, CALIF.; Bachelor’s degree: 23.1% of populationAverage household income: $73,850
The top cluster is Metro Managers. (See number seven.) The next cluster, Borderlands contains a large representation of Hispanic and Mexican ancestries. Household size tends to be large, with more than five people, and there is a cultural bias against working wives. Despite these handicaps, a low cost of living affords a nice lifestyle replete with Asian compact cars, pickups and minivans.
OAKLAND, CALIF.; Bachelor’s degree: 23% of population
Average household income: $82,492
Oakland’s top two clusters are East Goes West and Metro Managers. (See numbers four and seven.)
MIDDLESEX-SOMERSET-HUNTERDON, N.J.; Bachelor’s degree: 22.9% of population
Average household income: $101,571
Homebodies are the top cluster group in this bucolic corner of New Jersey. The group is predominantly Catholic and is extremely stable. Homebodies favor homes built 30 to 50 years ago, tend to be older, earn a comfortable income, are financially secure, and have a limited interest in investing.
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