The Austin area is bursting with brain power. Three ZIP codes in the region rank among the top 10 in Texas with the highest share of residents Texans who've earned a master's, professional, or doctoral degree, according to a new list from UnitedStatesZipCodes.org.
"When deciding where to live, neighborhoods full of residents with postgraduate degrees are … increasingly attractive," reads UnitedStatesZipCodes.org, which based its ranking on U.S. Census Bureau data. "Well-educated communities — full of leaders in technology, medicine, business, and more — can bring new industries and revenue."
The postgraduate category includes PhDs and MBAs, while the professional category includes JDs (law degrees) and MDs (medical degrees).
Coming in as the smartest ZIP code in Austin — and No. 4 in Texas — is 78703. This ZIP code, located less than two miles west of the University of Texas campus, includes high-end neighborhoods such as Tarrytown and Old West Austin. Here, 41.5 percent of adults hold a postgraduate or professional degree.
At No. 8 in Texas is Austin's 78746, where 37.2 percent of adults have a postgraduate or professional degree. This ZIP code encompasses parts of West Austin, as well as the wealthy suburbs of Rollingwood and West Lake Hills.
On its heels is 78731, which appears at No. 9 in the ranking. In this ZIP, which incorporates part of Central Austin and a large swath of Northwest Austin, 37.1 percent of adults have earned a postgraduate or professional degree.
The three smartest ZIPs in Texas are all in Houston, according to the study. Houston's 77030, which houses the Texas Medical Center, ranks No. 1, with more than half (51.7 percent) of adults 25 and over holding a postgraduate or professional degree.
No. 2 is Houston's 77005, where 48.5 percent of adults hold a postgraduate or professional degree, and No. 3 is 77401 — Bellaire — with 47.6 percent of adults landing in the category.
The other Texas ZIP codes in the top 10 for postgraduate or professional degrees are:
- No. 5 — 77098, Houston, 39.2 percent.
- No. 6 — 77025, Houston, 39.15 percent.
- No. 7 — 75205, Dallas, 37.7 percent.
- No. 10 — 77024, Houston, 35.4 percent.
Federal data shows the unemployment rates for people with master's, professional, and doctoral degrees are lower than for other groups, such as people whose bachelor's or associate's degrees are their most advanced degrees. In addition, people with a postgraduate or professional degree typically earn more money.
"Graduates with the right knowledge and skills have the ability to demand higher salaries, as they are equipped to make significant contributions to the revenue and growth of the companies they work for," the Digital Marketing Institute says.
A version of this story originally appeared on our sister site, InnovationMap.com.