With input from Hamilton, I’ve been looking recently at how metropolitan areas change as one travels from the center to the periphery. The following charts show the percent of the population 25 and older with bachelor’s degrees. The graphs are based on concentric rings coming out from the center of downtown. I’ve included reference maps with distances and put lines on the graphs to correspond to the circles on the map.
It’s important to note that this is for adults who are 25 and older. While college towns have high numbers of educated residents and that shows up on the graphs, these numbers do not include actual undergraduate students or recent graduates.
Data for 1990 and 2000 comes from the long-form census. Data for 2012 is from the American Community Survey’s 2008-2012 5-year estimates. The census long form survey disappeared after the 2000 census, so questions that would have been on the long form (like education level) are now collected as part of the American Community Survey.