Western New York's community IQ ranks near the bottom of the nation's 55 metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, according to a study done by the Daily Beast that factored in education levels, the presence of colleges and universities, voter turnout and book sales.
Roughly tracking standard IQ tests, perfection added up to 200 points. The average was 100. Brain dead = 0.
We scored 70.
The score ranked the Buffalo-Niagara Falls MSA 44 out of 55.
To further put it in perspective, we rank below the likes of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Birmingham, Ala.
And it's not like the results skewed towards the Sun Belt. Yeah, Raleigh-Durham ranked No. 1, followed by San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland. But Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver rounded out the top five and regions including Milwaukee (ranked 15), Providence (22) Rochester (26) and Pittsburgh (27) ranked much better than us.
Here's what the Daily Beast had to say about WNY, after the obligatory cheap shot courtesy of Willis McGahee:
Its per capita nonfiction buying ranked near the bottom, and the rate of college graduates was in the bottom 10 percent.
I guess this is no big surprise, but it's nevertheless depressing, and underscores what we're up against in trying to rebuild a region that has a moribund economy and dysfunctional governance. Digging our way out is going to take smarts, among other things.
Us, we put a lot of energy into tailgating on Sunday and wigging out about the Bills the rest of the week.