2/28/2008

Corvallis ranks as fifth smartest city in U.S.

University community boosts Corvallis into Forbes Online Magazine's top 25 smart cities

Melissa Petersen

Corvallis was recently ranked fifth on a list of America's smartest cities, compiled by Forbes online magazine. The list was based on the percentage of people per city aged 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree.

According to the study, more than 93 percent of Corvallis residents have graduated from high school and nearly 48 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher. Almost six percent of the residents have a doctorate, while about two percent have a professional degree required for doctors, attorneys and architects.

The majority of the top cities chosen boast a university within their vicinity, which has a direct correlation with the concentration of people with higher education degrees. Also, having a university in a small town drives residents toward pursuing higher education because of easy access.

Hewlett-Packard, Good Samaritan Hospital and OSU are all major employers of the Corvallis community. A big factor for Corvallis earning this ranking is the large impact OSU has on the community. Many staff and faculty members live in Corvallis along with their families.

"When the faculty and staff of the university have children, they are likely to push their children to succeed, and so after a few generations you're left with a group of people that are very well-educated" said Alex Graham, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and pre-pharmacy.

Until recently, OSU and Corvallis have not received any national recognition, mainly because Corvallis is considered to be a small town and out of the way from major areas like Portland, Salem, Eugene and Medford.

The cities on the Forbes list have populations ranging from 80,000 to 4 million people.

According to Forbes.com, the presence of a university was the main factor contributing to a number of smaller cities, such as Corvallis, appearing on the list.

The top spot went to Boulder, Colo., with most of its population coming from the University of Colorado.

Metro areas rounded off the list, including San Francisco and Seattle - some of the country's biggest high-tech centers, drawing in well-educated people who tend to be recent college graduates.
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Published in TheDailyBarometer

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