Lumosity data scientist Daniel Sternberg explains the prominence of college towns this way:
College towns tend to do well because education is correlated with cognitive performance. We’ve seen in our other research that those with advanced degrees tend to perform better cognitively throughout the lifespan. When we looked at some trends based on American Community Survey data, we found that the percentage of individuals within a metro area with advanced degrees, and the percentage of individuals within a CBSA pursuing advanced degrees were both strong predictors of the cognitive performance score for that metro area.
Not bad. The ancillary effects of the University of Virginia are well known, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Charlottesville area as being noted for the under-35 demographic – I’ll take that as a very good thing for the future of our area, should it be a reasonably accurate conclusion.