A look at the top 10 smartest, best and worst educated cities in the United States.
The Daily Beast collected “brain power” data for metropolitan cities and ranked them for intellectual prowess. Here is how The Daily Beast ranked the United States’ “smartest” cities, according to their October 4, 2009 article.
First, using U.S. Census data, they focused only on cities and their suburbs with 1 million people or more. Using this data, they discovered 55 cities that qualified for their study and ranked them on a per-capita basis: half for education (bachelor’s degrees and/or graduate degrees) and half for intellectual environment. Non-fiction book sales and political/intelligence engagement were used as part of the criteria for intellectual stimulation.
Here are ten “brainiest” cities in the United States, according to The Daily Beast:
Raleigh-Durham was given the highest civic IQ score. With three great universities (Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University) and the Research Triangle, Raleigh-Durham attracts “engaged political minds.”
Although this area ran a close second, it fell short only because of political engagement. With the University of California—Berkeley, this area is considered a “world-class technology hub.”
This area is responsible for 10 percent of all nonfiction book sales is home to 100+ universities. It also ranks near the top of the list for the most graduate degrees.
The Twin Cities ranks high for voter participation and its educational system. With a high number of bachelor’s degrees per capital, it’s no wonder why Minneapolis/St. Paul ranks near the top of the list.
Denver ranks fifth because its population is both well-educated and well-read. According to Mayor John Hickenlooper, “Smart, successful people are drawn to places like the Denver metro area because of our reputation for innovation and quality of life.”
This area is one of the oldest in the nation and is home to the oldest newspaper (The Courant) as well as the oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum). It’s also the home of Yale University, the third-oldest college on the continent.
Known for its wet weather, the residents of this area not only stay indoors a lot but also read a lot. Their penchant for reading is what ranks this area near the top of the list.
Although this area is known for its low voter registration, it’s still one of the hot spots for young college grads, scoring very high on the number of bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees per capita.
Residents in this city buy and read a lot of books. Their high civic participation score also helped to push them near the top of the rankings.
10. Baltimore: 135
Known for its great schools and universities, Baltimore rounds out the top 10 of the list. According to “Sheila Dixon, Baltimore’s first female mayor, ‘…ultimately it [Baltimore] is the engaged, educated, and active citizenry in the City of Baltimore that deserves the recognition.’”
Here are the cities that landed on the bottom of the list:
While The Daily Beast admits that its findings and civic I.Q. scores are somewhat flawed, these scores are telling, nevertheless. They provide a closer look into how people are intellectually and politically engaged in the top metropolitan cities in the country.