The best way you can predict the economic success of a
city is by figuring out how many adults have finished college.
Certainly, people who have a college degree tend to earn more—but so do
people who lack a diploma when they live in a city with high college
attainment. When it comes to Portland, our city gets a B-minus. The U.S.
Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows 33 percent of people 25
or older have earned a four-year degree. That puts Portland No. 17 out
of 51 top metro areas. First place? Washington, D.C., with 46.8 percent,
followed by the Bay Area and Boston. Riverside, Calif., is last.