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America’s brainiest cities


Confidence in Washington may be hitting a low point, but the good news is that it’s still number one in smarts as measured by percentage of the population possessing college degrees. In the population as a whole, the average percentage of degree-holders is twenty-five percent, but the capital boasts a whopping 47.3%. That shouldn’t be surprising, notes senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, John Schmidt:

“Clearly, the biggest factor is still the presence of federal government jobs,” he added. “But a lot of people in the 20s and 30s come here interested in public policy. There’s an excitement about being in Washington, especially among young people who want to make a difference in the world.”

Having those extra degrees not only fills out one’s name, but also one’s wallet in many cases, as appears to be the case in DC as well as other top cities on the list including number two, San Francisco, and number three, San Jose. Not all degrees lead to higher paychecks, but the formula seems to be working for the top spots.

See the more urban areas that are tops in smarts at CNN Money.


Pays to get an education.

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