Madison, Wisconsin ranked as best educated city in U.S.

NEW YORK Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:04pm EDT

Benjamin Frelka of Madison, Wisconsin poses for a portrait with his sign as he marches around the Capitol while protesters gather to protest against a proposed bill by Governor Scott Walker in Madison, Wisconsin February 21, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Benjamin Frelka of Madison, Wisconsin poses for a portrait with his sign as he marches around the Capitol while protesters gather to protest against a proposed bill by Governor Scott Walker in Madison, Wisconsin February 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Hauck

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States and New York is the financial hub but Madison, Wisconsin gets the highest marks as the most educated American city.

The midwestern metropolis, which Men's Health magazine described as the city "where the average household has more degrees than a thermometer" edged past Plano, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina to score the highest grades in magazine's ranking of the 100 cities with the best educated population.

Burlington, Vermont and Seattle rounded out the top five, while Las Vegas, Cleveland and Miami were the least erudite.

"It is all about education there," said David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health and editorial director of Women's Health, about Madison.

He added that the city has a large population of students, unemployment is low compared to the national average of 9.3 percent and it has good businesses, including biotech and medical supply companies.

"Cities with thriving, interesting businesses have people living intellectual lives," he explained in an interview.

The magazine compiled the list by looking at the high school graduation rates of the cities, as well as U.S. Census figures on school enrollment and the education levels of people over 25 years old. It also researched the number of households with student loans and people taking adult education courses.

Weather seemed to have had no impact on the rankings with balmy San Diego and Honolulu and bitterly cold Fargo, North Dakota and Portland, Maine making the top 10, along with Lincoln, Nebraska.

Despite being the political center of the nation, Washington D.C. scored 34th in the rankings, just behind Little Rock, Arkansas but ahead of Jersey City, New Jersey.

At No. 54 on the list New York was sandwiched between Orlando, Florida and Chicago, while Los Angeles lagged behind at No. 67.

Fresno and Stockton, both in California, and Detroit scored an F grade in the ranking and were in the bottom five.

The magazine also said that a new report by the Department of Education showed that only 20 percent of high school seniors in the United States have a solid grasp of global geography.

The full ranking can be found here (here )

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