Where do the young and college educated live?

The metropolitan areas identified in the illustration above are what you might call education hubs, that is, regions of the country that serve as magnets to the young and college educated.  In the illustration above we define an education hub as a metropolitan area in which at least thirty percent of older millennials, ages 25-34, hold a four-year college degree.  Three things stand out about the illustration.  First, education hubs are relatively sparse.  Only ten metro areas reach the thirty percent mark, suggesting that these areas have emerged as primary landing spots for young adults with a four year college degree.  Second, with the concentration of so many power colleges in the region, the east coast remains a strong magnet for the young and college educated.  Take the Boston-Cambridge metropolitan area.  More than half of the 25-34 year-olds living in the region, 54%, hold a four-year college degree.  Third, and not surprisingly, Silicon Valley is also a hot spot for the young and college educated.  More than half of older millennials living in the San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose metropolitan areas hold a four-year college degree, making this tech and entrepreneurial hub a true center of power, influence, and innovation.   It’s no surprise that many of the cities identified in the illustration above rank high in terms of the number of patents per capita.  In addition to the economic vitality, education hubs tend to be rich in social capital and that’s a good thing for a young person starting their career journey.  Unfortunately, education hubs represent a not so optimistic trend in the U.S.: the degree to which the U.S. population is becoming more segregated across regions and cities.  This trend is heavily marked by sharp racial, ethnic, and class divisions which serve mainly to widen the social and economic inequalities between the college educated and the non-college educated.  Thus even as these cities stand out as college magnets, they also stand out as some of the most segregated cities by income and education.