Have you ever wondered which American city is the smartest? Like, if aliens came to your house and put a tentacle to your head and said "Tell us where the smart people are," would you have any idea?
Personally, I would go into clarification mode. I would have to ask the alien how we were defining "smartest city." It would be at this point that he/she/it would probably just hit me in the stomach. However, if the visitors had read this recent CNN Money article about the smartest cities in the country, we would totally be on the same page and have a good talk afterward.
The article illuminates recently released U.S. Census Bureau data about which metropolitan areas have the highest percentage of residents with college degrees (amongst people 25 years and older). In what is sure to be great cheap joke fodder for someone like Jay Leno, Washington D.C. ranked as the "smartest" city in America, with 47% of its age 25+ crowd having a bachelor's, master's, professional, or doctorate degree. For comparison: the average figure amongst major U.S. cities is 25%.
The rest of the top 10 smartest places include San Francisco, San Jose, Raleigh, Boston, Austin, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, and New York. Recognize some of these names? Of course you do! Washington, San Francisco, San Jose, Raleigh, Durham (neighbor of Raleigh), Arlington (neighbor of Washington), Austin, St. Paul (neighbor of Minneapolis), Seattle, and New York all ranked amongst the top-spending cities according to the 2010 Bundle Report. Funny, isn't it? The smarter the person, the higher-paying the job. And the higher-paying the job, the higher the spending. Multiply that times about 5.4 million and you've got a metro area like the one straddling Virginia and Maryland. Using Bundle's numbers, we could've figured this out months ago, all on our own!