North America’s 5 Smartest Cities

More and more, people are migrating to cities. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in one by 2050. It’s a compelling reason cities for cities to concentrate on acquiring better mobile technology and optimized infrastructure. In short, cities need to get smarter.

(Photo Credit: Micah Sheldon/Flickr)

Recently Fast Company compiled a list of North Amercia's 10 smartest cities, defining a "smart city" as one that "has a broad, integrated approach to improving the efficiency of city operations, the quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local economy." Here are the top five, with data from PayScale's Research Center about each city's median salary and most popular jobs in the metro area.  

1. Seattle

From the economy to the local government, Seattle is making sustainability a priority with support for organizations like Climate Solutions and Sustainable Seattle. Seattle's most popular job is a Software Engineer, and the city's median salary is $71,672.     

2. Boston

When it comes to North America, Boston offers the most patents per capita and venture capital per capita -- two enticing tidbits for any entrepreneur. Boston's most popular job is also Software Engineer, and the city's median salary is $71,546.    

3. San Francisco

Entrepreneurial ecosystems and sustainable urban development are thriving businesses in San Francisco, a very promising sign for the city. Like Seattle and Boston, San Francisco's most popular job is also Software Engineer, and the city's median salary is $81,551 - notably higher than other cities due San Francisco's high cost of living.  

4. Washington D.C.

Walking, biking, and public transit make Washington D.C. an ideal city for mobility — a key component to improving quality of life. The most popular job in Washington D.C. is an executive assistant, which comes with an average salary of $54,293.

5. New York

Adopting electric vehicles and embracing green regeneration are some of the sustainable measures that have landed New York atop the best in sustainability. Like Washington D.C., the most popular job in New York City is an Executive Assistant, with an average salary of $58,694.

Tell Us What You Think

Is your city one of the smartest in North America? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


  1. 5 john 17 Nov
    I have to disagree with your point of view upon Seattle's educational system Raul. I too live in king county (Redmond to be exact) and I have experienced first hand what the school systems have to offer. throughout my life I have been going to public schools within The Lake Washington School District and in my freshmen year of high school, My family moved to Montana for a few months. The difference within curriculum was laughable "no offence to anyone reading this from Montana". They were just starting to teach what we had studied in 7/8 grade. I can see where you might come up with this perspective, but I strongly disagree.
  2. 4 Raul 09 Aug
    I live in Seattle, we have the dumbest mayor and local government you could possibly imagine. Yes there is a high percentage of college grads in the metro area, mostly thanks to the midwestern states minting engineers from the best schools in the country. Dont try to raise kids here, the local schools are pathetic. The math teachers dont know math, science teachers dont know science, you got the idea. You will need to homeschool to give your kids the chance to keep up with the other parts of the country.
  3. 3 Anonymous 18 Jul

    Why are the last two average salaries instead of median salaries?

  4. 2 Anonymous 17 Jul

    I can't say those are the smartest cities, but they might be some of the more educated ones -- the ones with more people who have had the good fortune & privilege of higher education.

    There are lots of poor, less-educated people out there who are still quite smart - they simply are smart in different ways.  Some are self-educated, some learned in the wise ways of life, etc.  One fellow down in Texas, prayed & trusted God, and then decided he couldn't just let it go when he got run out of his career after refusing to do illegal discimination against blacks & men and refusing to continue working unpaid overtime.

    He took the former employer - a big YMCA - to court, self-litigated, since he had no money for an attorney.  They refused to make amends (he tried), and he seems to think they won't change unless someone makes things change.  Also, I think he feels if they did this to him, they simply keep doing it to others, and no telling how many others they've done such things to, you know?

    Well, he filed a lawsuit after the labor complaint washed out.  He found out in doing the legal stuff with no training, just learning & praying as he went, that evidence documents were showing the YMCA lied to the labor board to get the labor case shut down.  He also found documents showing labor officials never questioned any witnesses and later got evidence that shows the EEOC can't even find the sworn affidavit that was required of the YMCA showing their answers to his allegations under oath.  Still, TX Law stipulates no need for notarization for it to be considered perjury when lying to state officials.  (It changed from state to federal.)  So, the YMCA committed a felony state of Texas crime there, but nobody seems to want to look into it -- and in an election year, lol.

    Also, the man got proof the YMCA even gave lying testimony in court!  Oh year, and it was all unnotarized while saying they did it in front of a notary public. The judges allowed the testimony he showed was absolutely untrue, then used it to kick his civil suit out of federal court and prevent a jury trial, that is, to kill his 7th Amdt right under the Constitution.  Heavy, huh, and none of the Obama admin. or media seems to be breathing a word about it.  Could it have to do with what party the judges belong to, personally, but I think some belonged to both parties, and the YMCA there in Houston has lots of clout -- so they get by with doing felony crimes, many felonies mentioned on another website,

    Hey, the man's been living in tents because of it, so go to the website, click on links to tell Obama and D.C. politicians to quit shielding the crooked judges and so on, okay?  America needs to do good to brave simply people that do the right things.

  5. 1 Steve 17 Jul
    North America? Seems like it's solely the United States of America.


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