Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fresno not as ‘dumb’ as last year


The Daily Beast is back with its list of the smartest cities. You remember the list, right? You know, the one that ranked Fresno the dumbest city. It really stirred people up.

This year, Fresno jumped up from the bottom, passing San Antonio and Las Vegas (so now we’re only ranked 3rd from the worst). Here are the results for Fresno:

#53, Fresno, Calif.

Daily Beast IQ Score: 43.29

2009 rank: 55

Metropolitan area population: 1,344,935

Bachelor’s degrees: 11%

Graduate degrees: 6%

Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 626,000

The No. 1 city was Boston. Here’s its results:

#1, Boston, Mass.

Daily Beast IQ Score: 176.68

2009 rank: 3

Metropolitan area population: 4,588,680

Bachelor’s degrees: 24%

Graduate degrees: 18%

Year-to-date adult nonfiction booksales: 7,031,000

Interesting that Boston’s IQ score in more than 100 points higher than Fresno’s. And, that compared to last year, Fresno’s IQ really improved, from 3 to 43.29.

Fresno’s improvement might have to do with a change in the way the list was determined. The Daily Beast used libraries instead of voter turnout as part of the criteria this year. Here’s how it describes the process for determining the rankings:

This year’s methodology is similar to last year’s inaugural list, with a couple weighting refinements, and one major change: as our civic engagement quotient–a proxy of a city’s willingness, and ability, to invest in intellectual culture–we dropped voter turnout in favor of libraries per capita. Overall, we divided the criteria into two parts: Half for education, and half for intellectual environment. The education half encompassed the percentage of residents over age 25 that had bachelor’s degrees (25 percent weighting) and graduate degrees (25 percent), compared to the overall population over age 25. The intellectual environmental half had three subparts. First, we looked at year-to-date nonfiction book sales (16.7 percent), as tracked by Nielsen BookScan, the nation’s leading provider of accurate point-of-sale data, which tracks roughly 300,000 titles each week. We also measured the ratio of institutions of higher education (16.7 percent), as defined by the federal government–different than just measuring college degrees, this acknowledges that universities as driver of intellectual vigor of cities and rewards cities with college populations. Finally, libraries per capita (16.7 percent) measures how willing and able a city is to educate the general public, as well as the no-cost opportunities for the public to educate itself.

So what do you think? Does the ranking still make you mad?

Responses to "Fresno not as ‘dumb’ as last year"

Bryan Harley says:

*cue Antoine Dodson soundboard*

Mike Oz says:

So how many Fresnans moved to Vegas in the past year?

Bryan Harley says:

P.S. Why are we the only city represented with a digitized version of our flag? I like the flag, but they really couldn’t find a photo of Fresno anywhere?

Kathy Mahan says:

I know. Weird. It’s the same image they used last year, too.

Paul Fountaine says:

This is kind of dumb – There are a total of 52 institutions of higher education there, including 7 junior colleges, 14 colleges that primarily grant baccalaureate and master’s degrees, 8 research universities, and 23 special-focus institutions. Of these, 50 are non-profit organizations while 2 are for-profit businesses, and 48 are private ventures while 5 are public institutions.


And just because they don’t buy their books on Amazon using their Kindle and we do….

RL says:

But I feel dumber than last year? Hope we don’t lose our drunkest city status. God, horrible thought, we’re not getting smarter by drinking less are we?

Michael says:

Can someone tell me who the Daily Beast is and why this poll is relevant?