The 10 Smartest Cities in America

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Happy young bearded guy with glasses
WAYHOME studio /

This story originally appeared on Zippia.

One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in: to help you identify those places in America that might have skipped a grade or two.

We set out to find where people are well-educated, at all levels. We then crunched the numbers and found the smartest city in each state.

There are lots of ways to look at intelligence, such as IQ scores and SATs. However, we opted to look at something a bit more concrete and readily available — educational achievement.

Each city was equally ranked on:

  • Percentage of adults over 25 with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Percentage of 18- to 25-year-olds with at least a high school education

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census Bureau. We examined all cities with a working population of at least 5,000.

Following are the 10 smartest, or at least most educated, cities in America.

10. North Druid Hills, Georgia

North Druid Hills, Georgia
SevenMaps /

Bachelor’s degree: 38%
High school diploma: 96.4%

The 10th-smartest place is North Druid Hills, Georgia. Here, 96.4% of young adults have earned a high school diploma. A good chunk of those will no doubt follow the high percentage of older adults in pursuing a college degree.

9. Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama
Bob Pool /

Bachelor’s degree: 34%
High school diploma: 100%

Fairhope proves there are a lot of smart people in Alabama. Your chance of finding someone 18-to-25 without a high school diploma is basically zero.

The education doesn’t stop there. More than one-third (34%) of adults over 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s pretty smart.

8. Jericho, New York

Jericho, New York
SevenMaps /

Bachelor’s degree: 36%
High school diploma: 98.0%

In eighth place for smarts is Jericho, New York, shining just a bit brighter than other places in New York.

Jericho residents know what it’s like to hit the books, with 98% having at least their high school diploma.

7. Arden Hills, Minnesota

Arden Hills, Minnesota
Ken Wolter /

Bachelor’s degree: 36%
High school diploma: 98.6%

The smartest city in Minnesota (and seventh smartest in the nation) is Arden Hills.

The campus of University of Northwestern — St. Paul straddles the border of Arden Hills, no doubt contributing to the high education rate of the community. Toss in superb local schools, and it’s easy to see Arden Hills is a community where education flourishes.

6. Bexley, Ohio

Bexley, Ohio
Eric Glenn /

Bachelor’s degree: 38%
High school diploma: 98.5%

Where do the smartest people in Ohio call home? Bexley.

Only 1.5% of Bexley’s youngest adults are lacking a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Combine that with the fact that 38% of adults over 25 possess a college degree and it’s easy to see Bexley knows how to crack open a book.

5. Davidson, North Carolina

Davidson, North Carolina.
Jon Bilous /

Bachelor’s degree: 40%
High school diploma: 98.2%

In fifth place (and No. 1 in all of North Carolina) is Davidson.

Here, 40% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 98% of the adults under 25 have achieved a high school diploma.

If that’s not enough to tempt new residents into calling Davidson home, the charming Main Street, lush green spaces and adorable local businesses should do it.

4. Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
SevenMaps /

Bachelor’s degree: 39%
High school diploma: 99.3%

The fourth-smartest city is Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Conshohocken is one of the smaller cities to make the list, but it still has plenty to offer when it comes to smarts. This Philadelphia suburb can boast that 39% of its residents over 25 having a bachelor’s degree. That’s impressive.

3. Gunbarrel, Colorado

Rocky Mountain path near Gunbarrel, Colorado
MamaDJones /

Bachelor’s degree: 43%
High school diploma: 99%

The smartest city in Colorado? It’s not a smoking gun, it’s Gunbarrel, Colorado.

People who relocate to Gunbarrel will be treated to a city full of highly educated young adults, and the great schools that produce them.

2. West Hollywood, California

West Hollywood, California
dualpics /

Bachelor’s degree: 44%
High school diploma: 99.4%

Hollywood may be where you go to get famous, but West Hollywood is where you go for the brainiacs.

West Hollywood residents are hitting the books hard, with 44% having a bachelor’s degree and 99.4% having achieved at least a high school diploma.

1. Hoboken, New Jersey

Hoboken, New Jersey
Mags951 /

Bachelor’s degree: 51%
High school diploma: 99.6%

Those looking for smarts need look no further than New Jersey: Hoboken, New Jersey, that is.

Finding a high school dropout in Hoboken is like finding a needle in a haystack, since only 0.4% of young adult residents are lacking that achievement.

No doubt a large chunk of those residents go on to higher education, since Hoboken has the highest rate of college-educated residents in the nation at a staggering 51%.

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