By Anna Lothson
Just how smart is Oak Park? Pretty smart, according to the crew at NerdWallet.com.
At least that's the report back from analysts at the financial site that recommends everything from credit cards, the best gas prices to political advice and travel tips.
The village came in at No. 18 based on the company's examination that factors certain scores based on the residents' education level.
"We used a broad-based approach to show increasing levels of education, from residents with a high school diploma up to those with a doctorate or professional degree," the report reads. "We found that many of the places on this list have underlying industries and educational resources that draw educated residents. Challenging and technical jobs tend to attract more skilled and educated workers, and having educated workers at every level of operation can help sustain a more robust and knowledgeable workforce."
On average, 30.9 percent of Americans have completed at least a bachelor's degree, according to NerdWallet, which is in line with Oak Park's numbers.
But, to come up with the final education score, the group used criteria of four questions:
- "What percent finished high school or have an associate's degree as their highest level of education?"
- "What percent completed a bachelor's degree as their highest level of education?"
- "What percent completed a master's degree as their highest level of education?"
- "What percent completed a professional or doctoral degree?"
The education data for the report were taken from the U.S. Census for the population 25 and older. In Oak Park, the number of people with a high school diploma as the highest level of education was 23.3 percent. The percent with an associate's degree was 6.3 percent.
A bachelor's degree was the most common, at 30.9 percent, but a master's degree came in strong, at 22.7 percent. Those with professional and doctoral degrees came in at 8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.
Oak Park was the only city in Illinois to be named on the list of 20 cities. The top three cities were Bethesda, Md.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Wellesley, Mass.