Real Estate Broker/Owner with Sotheby's International Realty

by Jodi Summers


The residents of Santa Monica tend to think they live in their own little self-contained city, with its own government, business economy, water supply and elitest real estate process.


Those on the outside of the “Republic of Santa Monica” see this city by the sea – with a daytime population of 250,000 and a nighttime population of 90,000 residents as a suburb of Los Angeles. The website has, rather curiously, named Santa Monica one of the 10 smartest suburbs in America. Check out the top 10 list and we’ll dialogue further…


1. Santa Monica, CA


2. Evanston, IL


3. Berkeley, CA


4. Cambridge, MA


5. Towson, MD


6. Cupertino, CA


7. Scottsdale, AZ


8. Newton, MA


9. Seal Beach, CA


10. Alameda, CA


Movoto defined a suburb as any large population center near one of the nation’s 50 largest cities, and factored in whether or not the place was called a suburb on Wikipedia, in the list of inner-ring suburbs, or in any official capacity. Wikipedia defines a suburb as,”A residential area or a mixed use area, either existing as part of a city or urban area or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city.”


The methodology involved collecting data for 109 different suburbs using business listings,, and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. Then, they were ranked from 1 to 109 in the following criteria:


Colleges and universities per capita


Public libraries per capita


Museums per capita


Percentage of students with bachelor’s degrees or higher


High school graduation rate rating (based on test scores for the area)


We averaged these rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score was the best and brightest suburb, none other than Santa Monica.


Smartest Suburbs in America


1. Santa Monica, CA


Sure, we’ve got our beach and our pier, and real estate prices that average around $2,000,000 for a single family home, but did you realize that Santa Monica has the sixth most museums per capita out of all 109 places? It also ranked 10th overall for the percentage of its population who have bachelor’s degrees or higher (64.5 percent) and 11th for the number of nearby colleges and universities per capita. Bravo to us…


Here’s the big list:



To find out about all the other smart suburbs, go here…














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