Ranking our brains

You won't believe the smartest cities in Texas: College Station No. 1, The Woodlands No. 2

You won't believe the smartest cities in Texas: College Station No. 1, The Woodlands No. 2

Texas' brainpower may not be centered where you expect.

Among areas in Texas with a population between 50,000 and 99,999, the city of College Station ranks No. 1 for brain power — with 28 percent of the population holding bachelor's degrees and 28.23 percent with a graduate and/or professional degree.

This certainly makes sense, as the college town is inhabited largely by students and academics. College Station ranks No. 31 in mid-sized cities nationwide, down significantly since Money Magazine's similar 2006 report, when it came in at No. 11.

The Woodlands falls in as the No. 2 smartest area in Texas and the 41st nationwide. Within a population of 62,485, an impressive 37.22 percent have bachelor's degrees and 19.6 percent have graduate and/or professional degrees.

Other cities at the top of the Texas list are Frisco (59th nationwide), Flower Mound (61st) and Sugar Land (63rd).

The Business Journals' On Numbers released the rankings of 483 mid-sized U.S. cities using 2009 U.S. Census Data to determine brain power, determining ranking based on the percentage of population with each level of educational attainment. The top-ranked mid-sized cities on the list overall are Bethesda, Md., Palo Alto, Calif., Brookline, Mass. and Chapel Hill, N.C.

In an On Numbers study conducted of cities with a population larger than 100,000, Houston ranked No. 11 in Texas and No. 168 in the U.S. overall. Only 17.8 percent of Houstonians have a bachelor's degree, with 10.54 percent holding a graduate and/or professional degree.

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The Woodlands ranks No. 2 in Texas cities with a population of 50,000 to 99,9999. Photo by Moctezuma GM/Picasa
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College Station, home of Texas A&M University, ranks No. 1. Photo via Texas Pictures