Do you live in a smart city? One walk around the block or to your local grocery store might have you thinking otherwise. But the term “smart” can mean any number of things. People can be streetwise, for example, but have absolutely no clue how to do basic math problems. Or the inverse can be true: An egghead could solve quadratic equations in his or her head but not be able to use the self-checkout lane. Being educated, at a college level, is only a part of what makes a city “smart.”
You might live among geniuses, yet somehow still be surrounded by idiots. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. But if we use educational attainment as our main focus, can we tell which cities are actually the smartest? As it turns out we can.
A new report from WalletHub ranks the country’s 150 largest metropolitan areas from most to least educated. Using nine key metrics to develop its rankings, WalletHub’s team was able to figure out which cities contain the smartest people. So if you’ve ever felt like you were surrounded by idiots, a quick cross-check of the rankings might prove you correct.
Here are the top 15 smartest cities in the country.
15. Raleigh, North Carolina
- Raleigh’s biggest industries include aerospace, biotech, and IT — all requiring an educated workforce.
North Carolina is home to some large and prestigious universities. Among them are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Wake Forest — and all are relatively close to Raleigh. As a result, the city is rife with college grads, many who work in the city’s rather selective industries. Raleigh ranks ninth, per WalletHub, in “educational attainment.”
Another smart city? The capital of Michigan.