Lumosity Unveils America’s Top 25 Smartest Cities

Share Article

Analysis of World’s Largest Database of Human Cognition Names Charlottesville, Va. No. 1

News Image
These data are interesting because we are able to directly measure real differences in cognitive performance across geographic areas, said Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D., Data Scientist at Lumosity.

Lumosity, the leader in online brain training, today revealed the top 25 smartest cities in America based on an analysis of its database of human cognition. The study analyzed anonymized data for over one million users in the U.S. between the ages of 18-75 who had played multiple Lumosity games. The data examined scores from users’ first few sessions playing games across five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving. These cognitive performance scores were then ranked by location.

“These data are interesting because we are able to directly measure real differences in cognitive performance across geographic areas,” said Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D., Data Scientist at Lumosity. “Rankings of smartest cities typically rely solely on education levels as the main factor in determining how smart a population is, but with over 320 million data points, we have the opportunity to use technology to study brain performance directly.”

Below are the rankings of metropolitan areas and corresponding median percentiles, which represent the percentage of Americans the median users in that city scored higher than. For instance, the median percentile tells us that the median Lumosity user in Charlottesville had a higher score than 58.53% of Americans.

1. Charlottesville, Va. – 58.53%
2. Lafayette, In. – 58.41%
3. Anchorage, Alaska – 57.83%
4. Madison, Wis. – 56.84%
5. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, Calif. – 55.47%
6. Cedar Rapids – Waterloo – Iowa City – Dubuque, Iowa – 55.37%
7. Honolulu, Hawaii – 55.29%
8. Johnstown – Altoona, Pa. – 55.18%
9. Champaign – Springfield-Decatur, Ill. – 54.75%
10. Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minn. – 54.64%
11. Boston, MA – Manchester, N.H. – 54.49%
12. Austin, Texas – 54.18%
13. Rochester, N.Y. – 53.99%
14. Gainesville, Fla. – 53.97%
15. Fargo – Valley City, N.D. – 53.92%
16. Lansing, Mich. – 53.75%
17. Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – San Luis Obispo, Calif. – 53.73%
18. Burlington, Vt. – Plattsburgh, N.Y. – 53.72%
19. Pittsburgh, Pa. – 53.71%
20. Syracuse, N.Y. – 53.68%
21. Baton Rouge, La. – 53.58%
22. Columbia – Jefferson City, Mo. – 53.57%
22. La Crosse – Eau Claire, Wis. – 53.57%
24. Harrisburg – Lancaster – Lebanon – York, Pa. – 53.56%
25. Springfield – Holyoke, Mass. – 53.51%

Results were controlled for the effects of age and gender. The list includes only metro areas with a sufficient sample size greater than 500. Of note, many of the top metro areas contain major research universities, suggesting that education is an important predictor of brain performance.

There is still a great deal of variability within cities. The data show that the metro area that a user is in accounts for a relatively small percentage of the variance in users scores, indicating that there are many lower and higher performing individuals in any city.

These data analyses are part of Lumosity’s Human Cognition Project – a research initiative designed to advance neuroscience to better understand the human mind.

About Lumosity
Lumosity is the leading online brain training program that improves core cognitive abilities such as memory and attention. Launched in 2007, Lumosity now has more than 35 games, 20 million members, and paying subscribers from 180 countries. Lumosity’s exercises are based on the latest findings in neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other academic institutions. Lumosity is available at and on the iPhone. Lumosity is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Erica Perng
Email >
Visit website