Betty on the News: America's Smartest Cities

Where did your hometown fall on the intelligence scale?

Betty on the News: America’s Smartest Cities

Where did your hometown fall on the intelligence scale?

-Carolyn French


The relative intelligence of each and every chief American population hub has been graded from first-to-worst in a new study conducted by The Daily Beast.

The site chose to only rank Metropolitan regions of 1 million inhabitants or more, using Census data and Nielsen. In all 55 cities were graded on their intelligence, and the data was organized “on a per-capita basis, so that a resident of Norfolk, Virginia, and New York, New York, had equal weight.”

The criteria was divided into two halves, half for intellectual environment and half for education. Those with bachelor degrees (25 percent) or graduate degrees (15 percent) were credited, and the sale of nonfiction books (25 percent) was also taken into account using Nielsen BookScan.

Last but not least the study focused on the percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election (10 percent). The Daily Beast ranked the 55 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.”

So without further ado, here are some of the most intelligent cities in the United States:

Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco-Oakland-San-Jose, Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Hartford-New Haven, Seattle-Tacoma, Washington, D.C., Portland, OR., Baltimore and Philedelphia.

Check out the entire list here, and make sure your city didn’t come up bust! (

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