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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Study comparing 150 metropolitan statistical areas finds Ocala one of ‘least educated cities in America’

A new study by a personal finance company that compares 150 metropolitan statistical areas shows that Ocala ranks as one of the “least educated cities in America.”

WalletHub, a company that offers personal finance management and education through technology, compared the 150 most populated U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across two key dimensions: “Educational Attainment” and “Quality of Education & Attainment Gap.”

“We evaluated those dimensions using 11 relevant metrics,” reads a post from the company. According to WalletHub, the company used 11 relevant metrics graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest educational attainment and quality of education.

Ocala scored a 28.63, which placed it 142 out of 150 cities. It ranked 135 in education attainment, and 149 in quality of education and the attainment gaps.

Ocala ranks in the bottom ten least educated cities in America
Ocala ranks as one of the least educated cities in America (from left: Rank, City, Score, Education Attainment, Quality of Education)

Over a dozen of the 150 cities are in Florida. Ocala ranked last among them. 

Those Florida cities included Tallahassee (18), Naples/Marco Island (47), Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford ranked (62), Jacksonville ranked (75), Miami ranked (79), and Tampa ranked (83). 

“Our data set ranges from the share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to the quality of the public-school system to the gender education gap,” reads the post from WalletHub. 

In educational attainment, residents were evaluated on their highest level of education, giving different, weighted consideration to adults aged 25 and older with a high school diploma, an associates degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a graduate or professional degree. 

The quality of public schools, the average quality of universities, and the number racial and gender education gaps present were also given weighted consideration. 

For a complete break down of the methodology used by the organization, visit WalletHub’s 2021 Most & Least Educated Cities in America webpage. 

Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Education released preliminary reports showing Marion County Public Schools third grader Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) test scores ranked among the lowest in the state.