Published: March 1, 2017 By

City Tops "Brain Concentration Index"brain and bicep

A new measure of fitness for success in America’s high-tech economy shows Boulder has the right stuff. When Bloomberg News published its “2016 Brain Concentration Index” in December, metro Boulder ranked first.

The index measures “per-capita concentration of residents working in science, technology and engineering occupations or who have science and engineering college degrees or post-graduate degrees.”

In a story about the index, Bloomberg introduced Boulder as a “tech incubator and the home of the University of Colorado.” It also highlighted the region’s aerospace, bioscience and renewable energy industries, software firms and abundant federal science labs.

“The public-sector presence contributed to the brains,” Clif Harald (DistSt’75), executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, said in the story.

Two other university towns made the index’s top five: Ann Arbor, Mich., home of the University of Michigan, and Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University. San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C., round out the top five.

A major Google campus is under construction at 30th and Pearl Streets in Boulder, as the Internet search giant prepares for a local head-count expansion that could eventually bring total local employment to 1,500. Twitter and Microsoft also have operations in the city, along with a host of smaller tech firms and start-ups.

Bloomberg capped its story with a headline that says it all: “America’s Best and Brightest Are Headed to Boulder.”

Illustration by Brian Stauffer