Las Vegas Sun

May 21, 2019

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America’s ‘dumbest’ city? Annual report says Las Vegas

Las Vegas once again is on a list it would rather not be associated with. The city was ranked the “dumbest” by the Daily Beast website this week.

The Las Vegas metropolitan area took the last spot on the website’s list of America’s smartest cities, ranking 55 out of 55 metropolitan areas with a population of more than 1 million.

The website gave each metro area an IQ score. Las Vegas scored 3.33. The No. 1 city on the list, Boston, scored 176.68. A perfect score was 200 and the average was 100.

Las Vegas’ score was worse this year than it was on the website’s inaugural list last year, when the city took the No. 54 spot.

The website notes the connection between a city’s intelligence and economic condition. “A city’s potential lies mostly with the ingenuity and brainpower of its citizens,” it said. “Regions with intellectual vigor are more likely to bounce back; those without risk a stupor.”

The top metro areas on the smart list were: Boston; Hartford, Conn.; San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; and Denver.

At the bottom of the list were Orlando; Memphis; Houston; Fresno, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; and Las Vegas.

The score was calculated using education and “intellectual environment” indicators, the Daily Beast said. The education portion was based on the number of residents over the age of 25 who had bachelor’s or graduate degrees compared to the total population over 25. The intellectual score considered the area’s sales of nonfiction books, the ratio of institutions of higher education and the number of libraries per capita.

The Las Vegas area’s 1.9 million residents bought 1,069,000 nonfiction books so far this year, the website said, while 14 percent of residents have bachelor’s degrees and 7 percent have graduate degrees.

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