Two studies find county to be least educated, worst place to live

Wallethub.com ranks Tulare County area 150 out of 150 in education, 247wallst.com ranks Tulare County the worst county to live in California

TULARE COUNTY – According to a recent study by Wallethub.com, Visalia and the larger Tulare County area is the least educated place in the country.

Wallethub.com compared 150 of the country’s most populated areas, otherwise known as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The authors of the study looked at two key dimensions: “educational attainment” and “quality of education and attainment gap.” What they found was that Visalia, but more broadly Tulare County, ranked 150th in education.

Other Valley cities fell within the bottom 10 on the list. Bakersfield, Stockton and Fresno ranked 147th, 144th and 140th respectively. Los Angeles ranked 92nd while Sacramento ranked 49th. The number one ranked MSA for education was Ann Arbor, Mich.

Wallethub.com stated under their methodology that they evaluated the two dimensions with 11 different metrics. For education attainment they evaluated adults 25 years of age and older: with a high school diploma or higher; with some college experience or higher; with a bachelors degree or higher; and with a graduate or professional degree.

For quality of education and attainment gap Wallethub.com looked at the: quality of public school system; average quality of universities; enrolled students in the top 1,009 universities per capita; number of summer learning opportunities per capita; gender education gap; educational equality index score.

According to the study Data used to create the ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, GreatSchools.org, EducationCities.org, Yelp and WalletHub research.

A Wallethub.com report stated that the most educated cities could shift in the near future depending on how well cities deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on schooling. “In fact, more than 97% of educators report seeing learning loss among their students due to the pandemic,” the report stated.

Worse, according to 247wallst.com, Tulare County is the worst county in California to live in. In a report of the worst counties to live in for every state, the web site specifically notes unemployment and poverty as key detractors.

“Tulare County, centrally located in California’s Central Valley, ranks as the worst county to live in the state. Though the area is both an agricultural and manufacturing hub, the county struggles with both unemployment and poverty,” the report stated.

The report falls below the state is several areas including five-year growth trends. Tulare County has grown 2.4% over the last half decade where the state has grown 3.2%. They calculated that the county’s poverty rate is more than 10% higher than the states, 23.8% to 13.4%. The report states that adults with a bachelor’s degree is less than half that of the state, with 14.6% of Tulare County residents holding a four-year degree to the state’s 33.9%. Life expectancy at birth, according to the report, calculates Tulare County residents live 78.7 years to the state’s 81.7.

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