When popular blog The Daily Beast recently ranked Baltimore the 10th smartest city in America, local responses ranged from "Who, us?" and "Heck yeah!" to "Why not number one?" The website ranked metropolitan areas, not just cities (Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, and Boston finished one-two-three), and used a formula that took into account education levels, nonfiction book sales, the number of institutes of higher education, and voting levels ("many studies link intelligence and political engagement," the editors say). This got us to thinking about which might be Baltimore's smartest neighborhood. So we created a 10-question IQ test, picked four local 'hoods with reputations for smarts, and quizzed residents in our absolutely unscientific survey. Here's how they did.
The Johns Hopkins University is clearly a major intellectual hub and the seat of this city’s smarty pants. Not surprisingly, the nerds—uh, residents—nearby fared best on the math and logic questions, while stumbling in the verbal section.
With Towson University and several prominent hospitals, the Baltimore County 'burb would seem an obvious candidate for smartest hood, but the scores don't lie: Maybe Towson didn’t get a good night's rest before the test?
The young professionals in finance, law, and media who flock to the trendy downtown nabe fared pretty well, but couldn’t keep up with their more academic uptown neighbors.
WINNER Mount Washington
The leafy North Baltimore burg has a reputation as home to academics, lawyers, and, particularly, doctors (hence the “Pill Hill” enclave). The brainy bunch dominated in the verbal section and managed to squeak an overall win, just topping Charles Village.