Which city has the smartest people?
The details are in the data.
It's all in the mind. Folks with high intelligence quotients or high aspirations may be the first to attest that a stimulating environment is essential when choosing a place to live. Museums, concert halls and gourmet restaurants likely are listed by some people as must-haves when searching for a comfortable and classy address amid the hustle and bustle of city life.
In contrast, other smart people may crave a home situated near acres of woodland where the only noisemakers are birds, bullfrogs and crickets. Some 100,000 people between the ages of 4 and 94 whose scores on intelligence tests put them in the top two percent of the world's population can be found on the membership roster of Mensa International—founded in 1946 in
Nevertheless, in considering which city has the smartest people, various criteria can indeed be measured. For example, the organization that commonly is referred to as the United State Census Bureau is the longtime gatekeeper of massive amounts of data about American people. It has vast resources for deducing statistics such as the population of small towns and big cities alike. It has made a science of boiling down into charts and graphs an endless flow of measurements. It reports on gender, nationality, age and the level of income and education possessed by residents who live in communities all across the land.
The organization's proper name is the Bureau of the Census; it's a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and since 1903 it has been the official collector of details that paint a portrait of life in
Nowadays, a full Census of all American households is conducted every 10 years, on years ending in zero. One of the indicators of intelligence that would assist those at the bureau to determine which city has the smartest people includes the number of college graduates reportedly living in a city. In addition, other factors that may be taken into account can include the number of accredited universities in the city and the abundance there of high-level publications such as business journals and financial newspapers. It's a puzzle of amazing complexity that experts parse to reveal some interesting facts.
Reports on the Smartest Cities
Writer Les Christie some time ago wrote for CNNMoney.com a detailed report entitled, "
On the other hand, writer Alyson Papalia penned a Commentary for Forbes.com in February 2008 entitled "The Smartest Cities," wherein the top spot went to
A Matter of Opinion
Maybe it's better to limit the inquiry to people who know their surroundings. Ask the guy with the fishing pole, sitting on the bench at the end of the rickety wooden pier that stretches out from the sandy backyard of his cabin on the lake. Look around at the thick stands of fragrant pines and then ask him, "Is this where the smartest people live?" Chances are he'll lift the brim of his hat, look out at the dancing blue ripples and give you as good an answer as any: "You'd have to be stupid to live anywhere else."