San Francisco Isn’t the Brainiest City?!
By: Bernadette Samson
A few months ago, we were disappointed to find out that San Francisco wasn’t considered the “geekiest city.” Now we have to face the disappointing statistic released by Lumos Labs that claims the San Francisco Bay Area is only number 5 in their list of “brainiest” metropolitan areas!
Lumos Labs’s rankings of braininess were based solely on geo-mapped trends in their users’ brain game results by comparing their users’ various scores on brain games with users’ IP address locations. To take the data further, Richard Florida, the Senior Editor of The Atlantic, compared Lumos Labs’s “Brainy Metro Score” data with data on college degree attainment and knowledge economy job employment. His findings revealed a positive correlation between metropolitan areas’ braininess and the number of college degree holders and knowledge economy employees. Higher levels of innovation, especially in the tech field, also correlated with higher braininess scores for metropolitan areas.
The Brainy Metro Score data matched with Richard Florida’s further analysis brings up important considerations of access to higher education and jobs in the “knowledge economy” and those issues’ effects on the overall well-being of metropolitan areas. If braininess correlates with higher education and tech jobs, and higher education and tech jobs lead to more vibrant, more innovative cities, then the data should point us toward supporting more access to college courses, especially those that teach tech skills like programming.
Luckily, organizations like Black Girls Code are working to encourage girls to learn computer programming, and legislation like Speaker Pérez’s Middle Class Scholarship passed to increase access to higher education in California. By supporting other similar organizations and legislation, we can move San Francisco up the ranks of brainiest cities.