"In a knowledge economy, we are often told the smartest cities and nations do the best. But economists typically measure smart cities by education level, calculating the cities or metros with the largest percentage of college grads or the largest shares of adults with advanced degrees. Others (like me) do it by charting the kinds of work people do and the occupations they hold, differentiating between knowledge or creative workers and others who do more routine manufacturing and service jobs.
But a new measure seeks to track the "brain performance" or cognitive capacity of metros in a different and potentially more direct way.
This metric, developed by Lumos Labs, is based on their cognitive training and tracking software, Lumosity. It covers some 20 million members (and 320 million individual game plays) who use the company's online games to assess and attempt to improve their cognitive performance. . . .
"To measure the smartest cities, Lumosity scientists tracked the cognitive performance of more than one million users in the United States on their games, mapping them across U.S. metros using IP geolocation software. Individual scores were recorded in five key cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving.The data was normalized into a basic brain performance index controlling for age and gender. Only metros with more than 500 observations were included. The data cover 169 metros." . . .
Looking for a "smart" place to go to college? Check the list:
"Here are America's 25 brainiest metros, according to Lumosity's metrics:"
1. Charlottesville, Virginia
2. Lafayette, Indiana
3. Anchorage Alaska
4. Madison, Wisconsin
5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
6. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa
8. Johnstown-Altoona, Pennsylvania
9. Champaign & Springfield-Decatur, Illinois
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul
11. Boston-Manchester (Massachusetts/New Hampshire)
13. Rochester, New York
14. Gainesville, Florida
15. Fargo-Valley City North Dakota
16. Lansing, Michigan
17. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo
18. Burlington-Plattsburgh (Vermont/New York)
20. Syracuse, New York
21. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
22. Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri
23. La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wisconsin
24. Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York Pennsylvania
25. Springfield-Holyoke, Massachusetts America's Brainiest Cities - Neighborhoods - The Atlantic Cities