Is Yakima ‘Ignorant?’ Among the Worst? The Numbers Say We Really Are!
Nobody wants to be called ignorant. Many of us think it means stupid or unable to learn ... those who think that are, well, ignorant. Truth is, the synonym most often given for ignorant is UNEDUCATED. Ignorant people don't know because they haven't learned or been taught.
So stand by to be educated on education, because by definition, Yakima has been categorized as one of the most ignorant cities in the country. That designation comes by virtue (or lack of virtue?) as to where our great little city lands on the list of 511 cities in terms of the percentage of educated residents.
Here's why it's important to know and important to try to change -- The ECONOMY.
Some well-educated people still do some very dumb things, but in general, education, as the website Advisorsmith indicates," is often an important factor in determining the health of local economies. The quality ... as well as the size and reach of schools, can directly influence the number and type of businesses, jobs, and social opportunities in an area."
With that in mind, Advisorsmith looked at 511 communities to find out the level of education across a swath of small, medium and large cities. As you might expect, communities with colleges and universities scored best. The question answered by this post is where does Yakima rank?
Let's start with the bad news first. In fact, there really isn't much in the way of good news. On the list of 50 LEAST educated cities Yakima comes in at No. 14, just ahead of Bakersfield, Calif. The dubious honor of "least educated city" goes to Hobbs, N.M.
Digging a little deeper into specific classifications, the city with the most high school graduates is Ames, Iowa, home to Iowa State University. With a population two-thirds the size of Yakima, Ames can boast 97.1% high school grads. Yakima is back in the pack -- way, way back in the pack at number 501 of 511. Yakima claims 73.5% as graduates. Worst of the group is Laredo, Texas, where just 65.9% of residents graduate from high school.
Yakima does a little better on the list of cities with college graduates at No. 458 of 511. Yakima residents can claim a rate of bachelor's degrees at 16.9% Marion, Ohio, is worst at 11.3,% while Boulder, Colo., population 107,000 and home to the University of Colorado, is best at 62.5 %.
Graduate degrees are rare, especially in Cullman, Ala., where 3.7% hang a sheepskin of master's degrees or better. Yakima nudges past Minot, N.D., by a tenth of a percent (Minot State University, my alma mater -- go, Beavers!). There, 6.6% of the population holds graduate degrees. Tops in the nation is Ithaca, N.Y., at 30.9%. Thanks, Cornell.
So the bottom line is this. Compared to hundreds of other cities, Yakima has a fairly uneducated population and that has significant implications for our economic future. Our sons and daughters need to be inspired to stay in school and graduate. For those able to go on to colleges or universities, we need to grow and build the kind of city to which they want to return.
Students, come home and bring those advanced degrees and all that human potential with you! Let's change our place on the list!