"The continuing economic malaise just reinforces a perennial fact: A city’s potential lies mostly with the ingenuity and brainpower of its citizens. Regions with intellectual vigor are more likely to bounce back; those without risk a stupor. As The Daily Beast again plays scorekeeper on which cities have what it takes, intellectually speaking, and which fall short, that chasm can be seen in stark relief when comparing the prospects at the top and bottom of our list. We only ranked metropolitan areas (major cities and their suburbs) of 1 million people or more, using Census data, with the definition of each greater metropolitan area defined by Nielsen’s Designated Market Area."