Las Vegas Sun

December 9, 2023

Report: Vegas near bottom on list of smartest cities


Justin M. Bowen / File photo

A view of the Las Vegas Strip.

The lights of Las Vegas might be bright, but some of its residents aren't.

That’s according to some number crunching by The Daily Beast Web site, which in its ranking of smarts for 55 metro areas put Las Vegas one notch away from being the dumbest city in America. The only place dumber, The Daily Beast said, is Fresno, Calif.

The online magazine kept its assessment of Las Vegas short: "A city that prides itself on sin performs predictably for each of our intellectual-based criteria."

The magazine used U.S. Census data to drill down on metro areas with 1 million or more people, then analyzed, per-capita, two sets of criteria: “education” and “intellectual environment,” according to its methodology.

For education, it at looked how many residents had bachelor’s and graduate degrees. For intellectual environment, the magazine looked at three components: data on the sales of nonfiction books; the ratio of higher education institutions to population; and the number of eligible voters who cast ballots in the presidential election.

A perfect score on the ranking was 200. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., which it ranked No. 1, had a “Daily Beast IQ Score” of 170. Las Vegas’ score? 11. Fresno got a 3.

After Raleigh, the top five areas were San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Denver. At the bottom were Memphis, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; San Antonio, Texas; Las Vegas; and Fresno.

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