Most ZIP Codes with Good Schools Are Unaffordable

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The best public schools in the country are in California’s priciest places

November 19, 2015
Most ZIP Codes with Good Schools Are Unaffordable

RealtyTrac found that “65 percent of the ‘good school’ ZIP codes were unaffordable for average wage earners,” CNN Money reports. The top 16 of the affordable good school ZIP codes are in California. What makes a school good? RealtyTrac defined it as those that post higher-than average test scores for their given state.

But the data show that it isn’t just test scores that are higher than average in the same ZIP code. Atherton, Calif., for example, ranked number one on the list for its schools’ quality, and the median home price is just a little above $6 million. Residents of Atherton would have to make monthly payments near $37,000, or 412 percent more than the average monthly wage of $8,953 for the area.

Not all schools that made the top 20 spots are expensive. Two Chicago ZIP codes, 60621 and 60628, both in the city’s south side, have good schools and the median home prices for both are as low as $134 and $220 compared to the average monthly wages of $4,400 and $5,500.

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