Only 7.5 percent of residents aged 25 or older don’t have a high school diploma. That’s better than all but one of the 15 Pittsburgh Today benchmark regions. And, since 2011, southwestern Pennsylvanians with a bachelor’s degree or higher have claimed a greater share of the population — from 29 percent to 32 percent.
Yet, that’s below the benchmark average and well shy of the 45 percent of Boston residents with at least a bachelor’s degree. And the findings of the Pittsburgh Today Regional Quality of Life Survey show why that ’s i m por tant. Southwestern Pennsylvanians without at least a bachelor’s degree are less likely to own a home and more likely to be unemployed than those with a higher education. They are three times more likely to have trouble paying their monthly bills — and to avoid going to the doctor because they can’t afford it. They are twice as likely to report being a victim of violent crime. And they give their level of happiness the lowest rating of any age group.