The folks over at The Daily Beast put a little study together ranking metropolitan areas, and came up with Raleigh-Durham being the smartest city in the country (ahem, when are people going learn that Raleigh-Durham is not ONE city). Here is how they arrived at that conclusion:
We divided the criteria into two halves: half for education, and half for intellectual environment. The education half encompassed how many residents had bachelor’s degrees (35 percent weighting) and graduate degrees (15 percent). No credit was given for “some college,” or “some grad school”—we rewarded those who finished the race. The environmental half had three subparts. First, we looked at nonfiction book sales (25 percent), as tracked by Nielsen Bookscan, the nation’s leading provider of accurate point-of-sale data, which tracks roughly 300,000 titles each week. We focused on nonfiction as an imperfect proxy for intellectual vigor, since overall sales are dominated by fiction works that, while entertaining, aren’t always particularly thought-provoking. We also measured the number of institutions of higher education (15 percent), as determined by the federal government—different than measuring college degrees, this acknowledges that universities, rather than diploma mills, usually drive the intellectual vigor of city. Finally, many studies link intelligence and political engagement, so we weighed this too, as measured the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election (10 percent). (Our relative small weighting acknowledges that numerous other local factors can affect turnout.)
Once we had all these comparable, per-capita figures, we ranked the cities in each category, assigning 10 points to those near the very top, and 0 to the bottom, with scores allocated between in a broad bell curve. We then added the totals, and multiplied by two, which made for a perfect score of 200, a wash-out score of 0, and an average score right at 100—close to the exact parameters of a classic IQ test.
Check out the link to the article here.
Image from The Daily Beast article