California has two of the highest — and five of the lowest — ranking metropolitan areas in terms of the percentage of population with a college degree, according to a list compiled by The New York Times based on data from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
The Sacramento metropolitan area — including Yolo and Placer counties — ranks near the middle of the pack nationally at No. 45. The study found that, in 2010, 29.4 percent of residents in the Sacramento metro area had a college degree. Sacramento ranks just behind Nashville, Tenn., and just ahead of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area — home to Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Google, as well as Stanford University — ranks at No. 2 on the list, boasting 46.3 percent of residents with a college degree.
The San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metropolitan area — which is home to social networking companies like Twitter and Zynga, as well as UC Berkeley and Wells Fargo Bank — is No. 4 on the list. There, 43.4 percent of residents have a college degree.
The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area is No. 19; 33.7 percent of residents there have a college degree.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area is No. 36, with 31 percent of residents having a college degree, and the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area is No. 38, with 30.8 percent of residents having a college degree.
Five metropolitan areas in California’s interior were among the 10 lowest-ranking metropolitan areas in the survey: Fresno, at No. 92 (20.1 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario at No. 94 (19.5 percent); Stockton at No. 97 (17.7 percent); Modesto at No. 98 (16.0 percent); and Bakersfield-Delano at No. 100, the lowest metro area listed (15 percent).
The San Joaquin Valley — with Stockton, Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield — represents the biggest concentration of metropolitan areas with low percentages of college-educated residents in the nation.