Everyone in Iowa is smart – and that’s a fact. With the highest literacy rates and the highest graduation rates in the nation, that’s pretty plain to see. But if you want to delve a little deeper into the subject and find out just where exactly the smartest people in our highly-educated state live, then we have good news for you, because the following 15 places are the smartest in Iowa:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
15. Sioux County
24.9% of residents in Sioux County have a bachelor's degree or higher, placing them at No. 15 on the list of smartest places in Iowa.
14. Dickinson County
It looks like the favorite vacation area of Dickinson County isn't all play and no work after all, as the county is one of the most educated in the state, with 25.2% of residents having a bachelor's degree or higher.
13. Poweshiek County
25.4% of Poweshiek County residents have a bachelor's degree or higher, so it's no surprise they made the list for smartest places in Iowa.
12. Black Hawk County
Black Hawk County is home to Cedar Falls, which is home to the University of Northern Iowa, so it isn't surprising that it's one of the smartest counties in the state, with 26.2% of residents having a bachelor's degree or higher.
11. Winneshiek County
26.8% of Winneshiek County residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. In a cultural city like Decorah (which is in Winneshiek County), it's no surprise that citizens are highly-educated.
10. Dubuque County
In Dubuque County, 28.7% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. It's no surprise that Dubuque County is a highly-educated area, as the city of Dubuque alone is home to four different colleges/universities and three seminaries.
9. Bremer County
28.2% of residents in Bremer County have a bachelor's degree or higher, putting it in the top ten for smartest counties in Iowa.
8. Warren County
In Warren County, 28.5% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher, making it the eighth smartest county in the state.
7. Linn County
With 31.7% of Linn County residents having a bachelor's degree or higher, Linn County is a pretty smart place to live.
6. Scott County
In Scott County, 31.8% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. Davenport, one of the cities in the county, is home to Saint Ambrose University and Palmer Chiropractic College, which was the first chiropractic school in the world.
5. Jefferson County
With 33% of residents having a bachelor's degree or higher, Fairfield ranks in the top 5 for smartest counties in Iowa. Fairfield is also home to Maharishi University of Management, a unique school that teaches principles of meditation.
4. Polk County
Polk County is the fourth most educated county in Iowa, with 35.4% of people having a bachelor's degree or higher. While that number may not seem like a lot, that's probably because Polk County is one of the most populated counties in the state.
3. Dallas County
The third most educated county in the state is Dallas County, where 43.7% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. Dallas County is also one of the richest counties in Iowa, so that college degree must be paying off here.
2. Story County
Story County is home to Ames, which is home to Iowa State University, so of course it's one of the most educated counties in the state, with 48.5% of residents having a bachelor's degree or higher. Not to mention the fact that ISU created the first electronic digital computer, which takes a lot of brains I might add.
1. Johnson County
Johnson County is home to Iowa City, which is home to the University of Iowa, so it's no surprise that it's the smartest county in the state, with 51.7% of residents having a bachelor's degree or higher. Iowa City is also one of six UNESCO Cities of Literature, alongside places like Dublin and Edinburgh.