For a city already known for its political activism, vibrant downtown nightlife and the best brats and cheese products around, a recent accolade for education gives Madison residents one more reason to smile.
A recent top 100 ranking published in Men’s Health Magazine named Wisconsin’s capital city the best educated in the nation, based on education rates of citizens ranging from high school students to adults holding multiple degrees.
Madison was one of only two cities granted an “A plus” rating but still managed to beat out the second place winner, Plano, Texas. Madison is also the only city with a Big Ten Conference university to crack the magazine’s top 10.
The article also characterized Madison as a city “where the average household has more degrees than a thermometer.”
According to the Men’s Health website, a study of U.S. Census Bureau figures on high school enrollment for kindergarten through graduate school, education levels for individuals over 25 and data for how many households bear student loans were also considered.
University of WIsconsin Provost Paul DeLuca said Madison’s honor as a city served as a testament to the important implications of the university for the rest of the state.
“We’re educating people for a completely new economy, and the economic survival of the state will depend on the success of our programs,” DeLuca said.
Madison was in close competition with cities home to other world-renowned universities for having the best educated population. These cities included Raleigh, N.C, which took third in the rankings, and San Diego, Calif., in sixth place.
DeLuca added he often speaks with students who report they come to appreciate their education at UW even more in the years after graduation, and students come to foster a lifelong desire to learn at the university.
“I’m hoping at the end of four years you’ll realize that this is just the beginning and that the rest of your life will be involved in a self-driven education in a variety of subjects, and some of that you’ll get from us,” DeLuca said.
The Men’s Health Magazine ranking distributed grades to each of the 100 cities that were included. Fifteen cities, including Dallas, Texas, and Cleveland, Ohio, received F grades.