The website considered livability, student-to-resident ratio, cultural offerings, school presence, and large employers to construct the ranking. On State College, it says:
Through recent years, State College has been known as one of the smartest towns in America, one of the best music scenes in the country, and one of the safest small towns in the country–not bad, eh? State College is fairly medium sized compared to other cities on our list, with metro area population coming in around 100,000. The city is graced with large employers like AccuWeather and Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems.
On top of all State College’s amenities, a few minutes drive leads you to golden cornfields and rolling hills with cattle. State College truly is a college “town” in the truest sense of the word, with a local obsession with Penn State football, great local schools, and a thriving downtown located near the University.
The ranking was dotted with Big Ten schools — it included 10 overall and four in the top 10, with Iowa City at No. 9, Madison at No. 3, and Ann Arbor at No. 2. Pittsburgh placed very favorably as well, notching the No. 12 spot. Boulder, Colo., received top honors.
A 2013 survey resulted in State College being ranked the country’s third-best college town, and Lumosity said we have the second-smartest city in the country. This ranking isn’t top three, but another top 10 placement certainly doesn’t hurt.