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Methodology




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Education Indicators

Weights*
Indicator
Methodology
Year
100 large
281 small
Educational attainment
Percent 65+ with high school degree, ‡
Data source: Census Bureau
2014 0.261 0.550
College enrollment
Per capita, ‡
Data source: Census Bureau
2014 0.254 0.450
Number of community colleges**
IPer capita, ‡
Data sources: Census Bureau, city websites
2014 0.284 --
Number of universities
Per capita, ‡
Data source: Census Bureau
2014 0.201 --
* Figures may not add up to 1 due to rounding. † The lowest value is ranked highest. ‡ The highest value is ranked highest.

The 2017 "Best Cities" index contains a new education category that had been a subset variable in the Employment/Education section of our 2014 report. As technology changes the working landscape, access to education can help older adults stay current, whether to remain in their careers, pursue encore careers, or learn for pleasure. Distance learning is increasingly accessible, but nearby universities and community colleges can provide a wider variety of classes while fostering a sense of community and interaction with people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Attitudes toward education can affect a community's investment in this service, as well as an individual's likelihood to utilize this resource. The "Best Cities" index uses educational attainment of older adults as well as college enrollment per capita to quantify these attitudes.

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