GOOD

Figuring out how to locate the smartest concentration of people in any one place is no easy feat.

Typically, it's either been measured by the proportion of college-degree holders or the raw number of college-degree holders that accumulate in a given place. Both approaches, according to Rob Pitingolo, an economics brainiac and 2010 college graduate, have flaws:


"The theory that there is economic value to having smart people together rests on the assumption that smart people collaborate with each other. You could have a whole bunch of smart people in one place, but if they don't interact with each other, what's the value?"

Pitingolo instead calculates what he calls "educational attainment density" by measuring college degree holders per square mile:

Is there value in corralling a bunch of smart people together in one place? What if they still don't collaborate? If they did, would you be willing to relocate?

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