These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In Virginia

We used data and science to determine the brainiacs around Virginia.

John McLeanby John McLeanRankings - 2 years ago

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One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them. This factor can play a huge role in one’s experience at a particular company and can make or break an employee’s time there.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in; to help you identify those places in Virginia that might have skipped a grade…or two.

You may be wondering how does one determine how intelligent a town really is?

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out what criteria about a place would identify it is a smart cookie.

We set upon the percentage of adults (over 25) with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school dropouts (aged 16-20) for the 62 largest cities in Virginia with data. We then crunched the numbers and were left with this set of the brightest cities in the Old Dominion:

  1. Blacksburg
  2. Vienna
  3. Falls Church
  4. Poquoson
  5. Williamsburg
  6. Fairfax
  7. Virginia Beach
  8. Fredericksburg
  9. Purcellville
  10. Salem

Read on to see why these places got into a four-year college or skip to the end to see a full chart of all the places in our analysis.

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How we determined the smartest places in the Old Dominion

Before we could dive into the potential IQs of various places in Virginia, we needed to know which places to look at in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 5,000 people and data available for every criteria.

This left us with 62 places in Virginia.

We then looked at the following criteria to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to smarts:

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought this criteria was representative of the current state of smarts with the potential for a place to improve the education levels of the next generation. And it’s not like we are setting the education bar incredibly high — 80% of students graduate from high school nowadays.

In order to determine the smartest, we ranked all the cities for each criteria from one to 62 with one being the “smartest” in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score being given the diploma for “Smartest City In Virginia”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

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1. Blacksburg

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,204
Adults Without High School Diploma: 3.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.2%

Graduating early with their diplomas held high are the residents of Blacksburg, Virginia.

With a population of 43,204 and only .2% of their high school students dropping out this city is Virginia’s best hope for a bright future.

2. Vienna

Smartest Virginia

Source: Flickr

Population: 16,173
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Vienna, Virginia is a very valuable town. Alliteration aside it’s taking the coveted #2 spot on our list with a virtually non-existent dropout rate and a population of just over 16,100.

3. Falls Church

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,074
Adults Without High School Diploma: 3.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.5%

Falling into the #3 spot is Falls Church. At around 13,000 residents and only 3.2% of them lacking a high school diploma the guys and gals here are some of the smartest around.

4. Poquoson

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,103
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Aside from having such a cool name this tiny town is doing big things academically. With the vast majority of their high school students staying in school they are on the road to success.

5. Williamsburg

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,401
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

The iconic and historic town of Williamsburg is coming in at #5 in the list of smartest cities in Virginia. With a population of 14,401 and and virtually no high school dropouts it’s on it’s way to make history yet again.

6. Fairfax

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,507
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Fairfax earned their ranking fair and square with such a low high school dropout rate despite having a population of over 23,500.

The IQs here must be off the charts!

7. Virginia Beach

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 445,623
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.9%

The metropolitan area of Virginia Beach has come in at #7 on our list of the smartest cities in Virginia. Boasting the biggest population on our list by far, at 445,623, this city is defying the odds with only 6.6% of the adults lacking a high school diploma.

8. Fredericksburg

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,632
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.8%

In the #8 spot is the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. With only .8% of high school kids not making it to graduation and 8.7% of the adult population lacking a high school diploma the residents here are some of the smartest around.

9. Purcellville

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,350
Adults Without High School Diploma: 4.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.3%

The kids in Purcellville take their studies very seriously as only 2.3% drop out of high school. With only 8,350 residents this small town is on it’s way to doing big things!

10. Salem

Smartest Virginia

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,120
Adults Without High School Diploma: 10.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.7%

Rounding out our list of the smartest cities in the state of Virginia is the city of Salem. With a population of over 25,000 and an impressively low dropout rate the kids here are some of the smartest around.

And that’s how you graduate in style

There you have it folks, the Ten Smartest Cities in the state of Virginia. They have the numbers to back it up so go ahead and visit them to soak up some of the smarts around town. If you’d like more information on different cities and states around the U.S. be sure to visit www.zippia.com to have all of your questions answered.

Detailed List Of Smartest Cities In Virginia

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Blacksburg 1 43,204 3.5% 0.2%
Vienna 2 16,173 6.6% 0.0%
Falls Church 3 13,074 3.2% 0.5%
Poquoson 4 12,103 7.3% 0.0%
Williamsburg 5 14,401 8.1% 0.0%
Fairfax 6 23,507 8.3% 0.0%
Virginia Beach 7 445,623 6.6% 1.9%
Fredericksburg 8 26,632 8.7% 0.8%
Purcellville 9 8,350 4.6% 2.3%
Salem 10 25,120 10.4% 0.7%
Chesapeake 11 228,168 9.0% 1.6%
Colonial Heights 12 17,542 12.8% 0.0%
Farmville 13 8,350 13.5% 0.2%
Charlottesville 14 44,505 11.3% 1.3%
Radford 15 16,993 12.1% 0.9%
Strasburg 16 6,486 15.2% 0.0%
Bridgewater 17 5,812 11.0% 1.9%
Lynchburg 18 77,626 12.7% 1.7%
Hampton 19 136,904 10.6% 2.2%
Bluefield 20 5,375 16.1% 0.0%
Smithfield 21 8,159 10.2% 3.3%
Abingdon 22 8,176 16.2% 0.0%
Newport News 23 181,362 11.2% 3.1%
Leesburg 24 46,211 11.4% 2.7%
Ashland 25 7,264 16.5% 0.0%
Warrenton 26 9,774 9.1% 4.5%
Alexandria 27 146,422 8.7% 5.5%
Manassas 28 40,436 17.3% 0.4%
Culpeper 29 16,968 17.7% 0.0%
Harrisonburg 30 50,821 16.2% 1.8%
Lexington 31 7,114 18.0% 0.0%
Suffolk 32 85,477 12.9% 4.5%
Norfolk 33 244,745 13.4% 4.3%
Winchester 34 27,031 16.7% 1.9%
Staunton 35 24,132 14.8% 4.0%
Manassas Park 36 14,992 18.9% 0.0%
Christiansburg 37 21,427 8.7% 10.0%
Wytheville 38 8,193 21.7% 0.0%
Herndon 39 24,141 16.1% 4.9%
Woodstock 40 5,164 22.5% 0.0%
Dumfries 41 5,122 23.1% 0.0%
Covington 42 5,853 17.7% 3.7%
Roanoke 43 97,949 16.7% 5.7%
Galax 44 6,981 25.7% 0.0%
Waynesboro 45 21,177 15.4% 10.4%
Portsmouth 46 96,007 17.4% 5.1%
Front Royal 47 14,709 16.8% 6.2%
Big Stone Gap 48 5,559 32.6% 0.0%
Richmond 49 211,063 17.6% 7.1%
Danville 50 42,704 21.2% 3.5%
Buena Vista 51 6,683 23.1% 2.1%
Bristol 52 17,595 19.1% 5.0%
Vinton 53 8,129 18.6% 9.6%
Hopewell 54 22,375 19.8% 6.6%
Martinsville 55 13,745 22.5% 4.9%
Pulaski 56 8,993 23.5% 4.5%
South Boston 57 8,069 20.2% 12.9%
Marion 58 5,931 20.4% 12.9%
Richlands 59 5,698 22.8% 7.7%
Franklin 60 8,534 21.9% 15.5%
Petersburg 61 32,439 23.9% 10.1%
Emporia 62 5,682 30.2% 16.8%

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