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Which Cities Are America's Smartest?

What's the Latest Development?

The software company Luminosity, which makes brain games aimed at improving cognitive function, has taken a nation-wide measurement of intelligence and ranked 169 metro areas according five key cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving. The data used for the analysis were taken from the company's tracking system, which allows players to follow their gaming performance over time. "The data was normalized into a basic brain performance index controlling for age and gender. Only metros with more than 500 observations were included."

What's the Big Idea?

Charlottesville, Virginia, emerged as the nation's brainiest city, followed by Lafayette, Indiana, and Anchorage, Alaska. Because the study controlled for age, cities were measured as smarter simply because they had more young people. Rather, said researchers, the presence of universities increased the general intelligence levels of the surrounding population. Where a city ranks on the new list could be of serious concern, says Richard Florida, because in today's knowledge economy, "we are often told the smartest cities and nations do the best."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


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