Brains or bust: Smart people are heading West

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Blog

Horace Greeley once said, “Go West, young man, go West.” Today, many are doing just that. And according to a recent report, they are among the smartest people in the nation.

A recent study from Bloomberg looked at the intelligence level of the population of various cities around the country by examining business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Its methodology included studying the outflow, relative to inflow, of advanced degree holders.

By its criteria, six of the 10 highest ranking cities are in the West – three in Colorado alone. Boulder ranked No. 1 in the report, titled “Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index.” Fort Collins ranked No. 4 and Denver No. 10.

“Brain drain is what we had when the oil and gas companies shut down and people left, Cilia Kohn, a Colorado economic development director told CBS Denver. “Now they’re coming back.”

Other cities that ranked in the top 10: San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Washington D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C., Madison, WI; Seattle WA.

This movement comes at a price, however, particularly for cities on the East Coast and in rural areas. Bloomberg also created a 2017 “Brain Drain Index” to measure cities with dropping intelligence indicators. Muskegon, MI ranked at the top of that list, followed by Beckley, WV; Altoona, PA; Goldsboro, NC; Atlantic City, NJ; Springfield, IL; Joplin, MO; Huntington, WV; Monroe, MI; and Lima, OH.


Photo Copyright: robuart / 123RF Stock Photo

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