How do you determine what the smartest and dumbest cities are? Well, one study by the Daily Beast used simple criteria to determine their status among America’s 55 largest cities (the only cities with 1 million or more within its greater metropolitan region):

1. The number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees obtained, per capita, for adults over 25.

2. The number of nonfiction books sold, as tracked by Nielsen BookScan.

3. The number of institutions of higher learning within a metropolitan region, as defined by the U.S. government

4. Libraries per capita, which determines how much a particular city cares about keeping its residents educated and how much the residents are supporting such institutions.

We start with the 20 smartest and dumbest cities in the U.S., beginning with the most intellectual ones. Where does your city fall? Let’s find out:



20. Baltimore

Terry Shropshire

I'm a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.