The Smartest City in America: Seattle or Raleigh?
Money Magazine's Smart Cities
Money Magazine recently looked at US cities that are home to the highest percentages of Bachelor’s Degree and higher-certificate owners across the nation. The distinction of "Smart City" for Money Magazine differs a bit from the 2008 rankings furnished by Forbes.com. The Forbes rankings were performed about a year and a half more recently than Money's (2008 and 2006, respectively) .
Forbes.com provides data on the Top 25 Cities where we find the highest percentage of postsecondary degrees among people ages 25 and older, based on data from Sperlings Best Places. This data is a step further removed than that of the US Census Bureau, but may be just as accurate.
Another difference from Forbes is that Money Magazine published a Top 26 Cities list, because of ties between cities. A confounding aspect is the jockeying of positions in the two lists annually, depending upon new graduation figures and the human migrations of degree holders in and out of the cities. The job market can influence this movement, but college towns often have more jobs than on-college towns and can attract and keep graduates to a greater extent..
If you consider just the presence of Bachelor’s Degrees as “intelligence”, then Seattle is the smartest city in the whole USA for Money Magazine, based directly on US Census data -- Nearly 53% of Seattle residents possess Bachelor’s Degrees.
Not only this, but Seattle is home to a thriving IT/Computer Industry that requires many degreed professionals in several fields that include IT, Health and Medicine, and Aerospace, as well as others. From the many fine colleges and universities in the region, these degreed workers often stay in the Greater Seattle Area. Well paying careers are to be had in Seattle, the suburbs Mukilteo, Everett, Redmond, and Tacoma, and other nearby suburbs and cities.
Forbes has chosen Boulder, Colorado. It is located near Louisville, which is also named the Best Place to Live in America.
The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast online has determined its own lineup of smartest US cities by determining its own Daily Beast IQ Score for each (featured on CNN).
See the interesting link below, which places Raleigh-Durham Metro Area in North Carolina, associated with the renown Research Triangle, as the Smartest City in America. This may be the most comprehensive and most recent ranking of Smart Cities.
The Daily Beast Smartest Cities In America
- Americas Smartest Cities - The Daily Beast
Raligh-Durham scores a Daily Beast IQ of 170.
Money Magazine's Smartest Cities
Percentage of Residents that posess at least a Bachelor's Degree
San Francisco CA
The Rest of the Best
The remaining Smartest Cities, according to the US Census Bureau and to Money Magazine's criteria, % of residents in posession of a Bachelor's Degree, are:
- Minneapolis NM 43.2%
- Atlanta GA 42.4
- Boston MA 40.9
- San Diego CA 40.4
- Lexington-Fayette KY 39.5
- Denver CO 39
- Charlotte NC and Portland OR (tied) 38.8
- St. Paul MN 36.5
- San Jose NM 36.1
- Colorado Springs CO 34.9
- Honolulu HI 34.7
- Oakland CA 33.8
- Pittsburgh PA 32.3
- NYC , Anchorage, and Albuquerque (tied) 32.2
- Omaha NE 31.9
- Nashville-Davidson TN 31.7
- Columbus OH and New Orleans LA (tied) 31.4%
City Reviews for the Top 5 Smartest Cities
- Seattle WA - Visit Seattle with this link to Money's Smartest City.
- San Francisco CA - San Fancisco receives coverage at:
Top 5 Nursing Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area is also useful, especially looking at degrees and graduation numbers.
- Raleigh NC - Jobs are increasing in the Research Triangle region. See related links above at the end of the first section of this page
- Washington DC Stimulus and government jobs have added positions here under the Obama Administration, while other jobs increase as well in Washington DC.
- Austin TX - Jobs, colleges, tourist attractions and entertainment in AUSTIN.
(Average Money Magazine "Smart Score" = 48.6%)
Additional American Smart Cities, by region.
Best Places in America
Midwest: Average Smart Score 37%
South: Average Smart Score 36.8%
Atlanta GA 42.4%
Atlanta and its suburbs have access to top colleges and universities, research centers, business incubators, and world renown products, services, and tourist attractions. Underground Atlanta and other city favorites are so hot in popularity that the name Hotlanta has stuck to the city.
- Alpharetta GA - The Best Place to Move in America
- City Review of Atlanta
- 15 Hot Jobs in Fast Growing Atlanta Suburbs
Lexington-Fayette KY 39.5%
Charlotte NC 38.8%
Nashville-Davidson TN 31.7%
New Orleans LA 31.4%
View New Orleans and other regional reviews of Louisiana at A Hub Portal for Louisiana.
West Coast: Average Smart Score 36%
East Coast and Northeast: Average Smart Score = 35.1%
Boston MA 40.9%
Jobs listings in the labor market of Boston and its suburbs are increasing. This links provide the information:
Pittsburgh PA 32.3%
- Top 15 Hot Healthcare Jobs in Pittsburgh - This city is a too well-kept secret. healthcare is booming in Pittsburgh PA, because of great hospitals and schools, along with the highly focused work of an organization that successfully implements and teaches the Best of the Best Practices of Medicine and Health. Results are jaw-dropping in SW Pennsylvania.
- Find some interesting jobs and city information available at How to Find a Job In The City.
Southwest and Central West: Average Smart Score 34.8%
Denver CO 39%
- Pike's Peak - New Jobs in the Best Places to Move
- Top 15 Hot Jobs in Louisville CO
- Suburbs of the Colorado Gold Rush
San Jose NM 36.1%
Colorado Springs CO 34.9%
- See Denver links above.
- Top 10 Jobs in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- A Hub Directory of Fast Growing Jobs and Relocation Resources for New Mexico
Omaha NE 31.9%
You Decide -
Which of the three No. 1 Smartest US Cities do you think is the Smartest?See results without voting
More by this Author
Lansing and East Lansing have become one of my favorite travel destinations. If I were looking for historic or cultural attractions, sports, work, or a great university, I'd move here.
In the latest evaluation of top nursing schools in the country, the complex provided at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) appears on several Top 10 Lists in nursing specialties.
My "Characteristics of the Ideal Employee" comes from 15 years' consensus of employers in a range of industries. These ideals can help you gain a job and earn promotions. See some added new tips!