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50 Smartest Cities in the United States


A recent study revealed some interesting facts about the intelligence of Americans throughout the country.

Americans And Intelligence

Over three million people from ages fifteen to eighty-five were included in this recent study. The study measured the intelligence of each individual according to how well they performed on a test consisting of five cognitive training exercises.

These cognitive training exercises tested:

• Speed
• Memory
• Attention
• Flexibility
• Problem solving

The results from the rest were then organized into core-based statistical areas. These CBSA groups consisted of urbanized centers that are brought together with adjacent areas that are socioeconomically connected due to commuting.

Grading Criteria

Let’s see which cities performed best in each of the five cognitive training exercises:

1. Speed: Ithaca, New York topped the list for speed. Bloomington, IN, Ann Arbo, MI, Corvallis, OR, and State College, PA rounded out the top five overall.

2. Memory: State College, PA made the top five again in this category, coming in at number two. Appleton, WI came out on top, while Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN, Stevens Point, WI, and Ithaca came in at three, four, and five respectively.

3. Attention: State College once again shows up in the top five at number three. Appleton takes the top spot for the second time with Sunbury, PA right behind it. Brainerd, MN and Whitewater/Elkhorn, WI finished off the list.

4. Flexibility: Ithaca, NY makes another appearance, this time in the top spot. State College makes its fourth appearance in a top five at number two. Finishing off the list are Boone, NC, Iowa City, IA, and Ann Arbor, MI.

5. Problem Solving: Let’s not pretend to be surprised that Ithaca and State College both made the top five yet again. Ithaca tops the list for problem solving, with Lafayette/West Lafayette, Ames, IA, State College, and Champaign/Urbana making up the rest of the list.

Best Performing Cities

So who came out on top overall? The top five probably won’t surprise you:

• Ithaca, NY
• State College, PA
• Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN
• Iowa City, IA
• Ames, IA

The Worst Cities

Out of the 478 cities that made up the list, it’s also worth looking at the bottom five:

• Lumberton, NC
• Laredo, TX
• Kinston, NC
• El Centro, CA
• Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach, FL.

Looking at these findings, one can certainly find some interesting patterns. These results are not meant to be definitive, but they do provide a number of compelling tidbits on intelligence in the U.S.

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