Forbes: Boulder Tops List of America's Smartest Cities

Posted Feb 12, 2008 by David Silverberg
Boulder  Colorado. - Photo courtesy National Institute of Standards and Technology
Boulder, Colorado. - Photo courtesy National Institute of Standards and Technology
The smartest city in the U.S. is Boulder, Colorado. The college town of 280,000 is full of brainiacs, according to Forbes’ recently released ranking of the smartest cities in the country. What makes Boulder such a studious leader?
Digital Journal — It may come as a surprise, but the sleepy town of Boulder, Colo., is getting good grades from Forbes: It ranked as the No. 1 city in the magazine’s annual list of America’s Smartest Cities.
What gives Boulder such geek appeal? As Forbes explains, Boulder is a sought-after setting ideal for the young and college-educated to enjoy freedom and upwards mobility in the first few years out of school. The landmark draw is the University of Colorado, a hub of scientific discovery and innovation. The clinchers are the post-secondary statistics: in 2007, more than 52 per cent of adults over 25 held a bachelor's degree or higher, and 3.97 per cent of that demographic had a Ph.D.
All those brains are also helping Boulder become competitive in salaries: Boulder residents earn an average of $45,944 annually, which ranks seventh in the U.S. in per-capita income. Its per-capita earning grow 5 per cent annually.
Forbes also offers another reason for Boulder claiming top spot, as it did last year, too:
Boulder is one of the greenest cities in the United States, and the residents take advantage of the many outdoor recreational activities available to the students, professors and overwhelmingly young adult population.Boulder scores points for being a leader in cutting-edge technology. In late 2007, it ranked tenth in the Digital Cities Award.
The Forbes list used data from Sperling's BestPlaces and compared the percentages of people ages 25 and up with at least a bachelor's degree.
The other “smart” cities that made the top-25 list included Iowa City, Iowa; Lawrence, Kansas; Ithaca, New York; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Cambridge, Mass.