Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
I’ve noted before how the fate of central cities and their regions seem to be linked. While again I can’t draw an arrow of causation, it’s rare to see a thriving region with a sinking central city.
It’s almost a truism that one of the most important drivers of urban success is educational attainment. So let’s take a quick look at educational attainment in core cities, using my Midwest metros as a proxy.
This probably isn’t a terribly surprising graph. Note the very low educational attainment of the city of Cleveland and Detroit. This highlights clearly the challenge facing those regions.
Here’s another view, looking at the change in college degree attainment between 2000 and 2009.
Another illuminating graph. We see again Cleveland and Detroit at the bottom, failing to even keep pace with the national average. On a more positive note, St. Louis saw a very strong increase, which bodes well for that city.
Just something to ponder. Note that I excluded my traditional look at Louisville because a city-county merger skewed the stats.
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Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century.