Metro Area Population: 1,578,527
Daily Beast IQ Score: 170
Raleigh-Durham has just about every intangible useful in attracting and developing a smart populace: It’s a university hub, including three of the nation’s elite schools (Duke, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University), and those schools led to one of the nation’s great technology incubators (Research Triangle). On top of that, Raleigh, as the state’s capital, attracts engaged political minds, as well. “We are fortunate to have great universities in Raleigh-Durham and great ‘smart’ industries that enrich our community greatly,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker told The Daily Beast. Enrichment enough to top our list.