Study ranks America’s smartest cities

Despite being home to Harvard, Boston/Cambridge MA only ranked in number 49 on the list.  Photo Credit: safrin.blogs.unhas.ac.id -
Despite being home to Harvard, Boston/Cambridge MA only ranked in number 49 on the list.
Photo Credit: safrin.blogs.unhas.ac.id -

A new list from Lumosity ranked the smartest cities in the United States. How should we feel that two of the three Metro cities didn’t make the cut?

The San-Francisco-based company, which creates brain-training exercises, ranked Ithaca, N.Y., a relatively small college town, which houses both Cornell University and Ithaca College, as the smartest in the country.

Lumosity has been around since 2007 and claims to have amassed the world’s largest dataset of human cognitive performance. They claim to have collected data from more than 40 million people.

In the study for the smartest places in the country, they used data from 3 million people between the ages of 18 and 75 who regularly play the Lumosity brain-training games. The games measure memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving.

It’s no surprise that many of the cities and towns that topped the list are college towns. What’s surprising is that Boston and Cambridge, home to MIT, Harvard and many more prestigious schools, came in at spot 49.

“One of the most interesting findings from this analysis is that most of the top metro areas contain major research universities, suggesting that education is an important predictor of cognitive performance,” Lumosity data scientist Daniel Sternberg said in a statement. “Neuroscience research has found that those who are engaged in learning and cognitively stimulating activities throughout the lifetime buildup a ‘cognitive reserve’ that helps maintain and improve cognitive performance.”

Here is the full list of America’s smartest cities.

1. Ithaca, NY
2. State College, PA
3. Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN
4. Iowa City, IA
5. Ames, IA
6. Ann Arbor, MI
7. Bloomington, IN
8. Madison, WI
9. Lawrence, KS
10. Pullman, WA
11. College Station-Bryan, TX
12. Appleton, WI
13. Champaign-Urbana, IL
14. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
15. Charlottesville, VA
16. Boulder, CO
17. Provo-Orem, UT
18. Harrisonburg, VA
19. Rolla, MO
20. Houghton, MI
21. Muncie, IN
22. Corvallis, OR
23. Boone, NC
24. Logan, UT-ID
25. Stillwater, OK
26. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
27. Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT
28. Lebanon, PA
29. Moscow, ID
30. Cedar Rapids, IA
31. Lincoln, NE
32. Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA
33. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
34. Starkville, MS
35. Athens, OH
36. La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
37. Brainerd, MN
38. Burlington-South Burlington, VT
39. Fargo, ND-MN
40. Stevens Point, WI
41. Columbia, MO
42. St. Cloud, MN
43. Rochester, MN
44. Auburn-Opelika, AL
45. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
46. Oil City, PA
47. Fort Collins, CO
48. Sheboygan, WI
49. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
50. Keene, NH
51. Oshkosh-Neenah, WI
52. Burlington, NC
53. Pittsburgh, PA
54. Fond du Lac, WI
55. Concord, NH
56. Morgantown, WV
57. Bellingham, WA
58. Mount Pleasant, MI
59. Ottawa-Peru, IL
60. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
61. Laramie, WY
62. Barnstable Town, MA
63. Lancaster, PA
64. Reading, PA
65. Winchester, VA-WV
66. Bozeman, MT
67. Bloomington, IL
68 Gainesville, FL
69. Duluth, MN-WI
70. Michigan City-La Porte, IN
71. South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI
72. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
73. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA
74. Oxford, MS
75. Altoona, PA
76. Wooster, OH
77. Bismarck, ND
78. Grand Forks, ND-MN
79. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
80. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
81. Binghamton, NY
82. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
83. Wisconsin Rapids-Marshfield, WI
84. Ogdensburg-Massena, NY
85. Kansas City, MO-KS
86. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
87. Torrington, CT
88. Trenton, NJ
89. Rochester, NY
90. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
91. Oneonta, NY
92. Eau Claire, WI
93. Warsaw, IN
94. Norwich-New London, CT
95. Eugene, OR
96. Topeka, KS
97. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
98. Mankato-North Mankato, MN
99. Helena, MT
100. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant 


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