Every year Newsweek (via the Daily Beast) ranks America’s smartest cities, and this year we Baltimoreans can stand up a little straighter, knowing that we out-brain Pittsburgh, Richmond, Nashville, Chicago, and Providence. That’s the good news.
The bad? Well, back in 2009 we cracked the top-10 list; in 2010, we slipped to #20; this year, we just barely snuck onto the list at number 25. Fargo, North Dakota is smarter than we are. So are Anchorage, Honolulu, and Washington D.C. (The smartest city of 2012 is Charlottesville, Virginia, which we’re willing to grant.)
Every year, the metrics for the rankings are different. This year, rather than measuring how many books we bought or how many college degrees we’ve earned, the folks at Lumos Labs (an “online brain gym,” apparently) tested more than a million users on their memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving. At least our score was a perfectly respectable 100.5, a mere .6 points below D.C. — not that we feel competitive or anything.