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10 Geekiest Cities in the U.S.

by Staff Writers

Remember when geeks started having a comeback? Are they cool yet? Whether you’re the biggest geek at your online university or just want to avoid geeks altogether, check out this list of 10 geekiest cities in the U.S.: you’ll either find out the best places for you to gain respect and find a great job, or discover all the cities you shouldn’t visit if geeks make you jealous.

  1. Hartford, CT: With a nickname like "insurance capital of the world," how can this not be a geek town? The capital of Connecticut is definitely built on the insurance industry, but it’s also dependent on the many engineering and science jobs located there. Eight colleges, seminaries, and/or graduate schools call Hartford home, as does the country’s second oldest high school. Samuel Clemens once had a house here, which is now a museum, and the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Building is actually on the city’s list of tourist attractions.
     
  2. Silicon Valley, CA: Where did all the computer geeks from high school run off to? Most likely Silicon Valley, where they’re treated like gods, and where geeks go to get rich and gain respect. Home to Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo!, Cisco, Adobe, eBay and lots of other tech start-ups-turned-mega-corporations, Silicon Valley, Calif., is the capital of software and venture capitalist firms in the U.S., possibly the world. Stanford and San Jose State are also located here, educating and giving jobs to engineers, mathematicians and all sorts of brainy geeks. The city employed nearly a quarter of a million techies in 2008, the highest concentration of high-tech professionals in the U.S.
     
  3. San Diego, CA: Besides having world-class universities and research centers and loads of jobs for engineers and techies, this pretty, beach-side city boasts the zip code with the most museums in the United States. San Diego’s 92101 is home to 18 museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, Museum of Man, San Diego Air and Space Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, and obviously a lot more. The San Diego Public Library system also boasts 35 branches, the first of which opened in the late 19th century. Comic-Con is also presented here each year. Enough said.
     
  4. Carlisle, MA: Carlisle, MA, includes one of the richest zip codes in the country, and the highest number of residents who hold a college degree or higher: over 83% of everyone in the town. The tiny city was founded in 1651 and is located about 25 miles from Boston.
     
  5. Austin, TX: To Texans, Austin is the hippie dippie town that’s full of liberals, artists and musicians (and UT football.) That’s true, but it’s also full of geeks, from start-up types to film, web and production geeks. It’s home to the South by Southwest festivals, which do feature cool, under-the-radar musicians and bands, but also the interactive festival. That’s basically the Comic-Con for tech geeks, who descend on the capital for trade shows and presentations about gaming, apps and other dorky stuff.
     
  6. Conway, Ark: Nicknamed "the city of colleges," Conway, Ark., is home to the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College and Central Baptist College. It’s a small town but part of the Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway metro area, and it’s also one of the best educated towns in the state. It’s a huge town for arts geeks, and its public school system — no matter what you’ve heard about Arkansas schools — is hugely devoted to music, theatre and dance programs. Hewlett-Packard has a facility here, too, making it a city for all types of geeks.
     
  7. Washington State’s Tri-Cities area: Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco, WA, make up Washington’s tri-cities area, and ExpansionManagement.com recently named it "the number one place for scientists and engineers to live and work in the U.S." That means it’s full of PhDs, medical doctors, engineers and other class-A geeks. The region, located in the southeastern part of the state, is also home to two colleges and a tech skills vocational center, Amazon.com, Lockheed Martin facility, and the energy laboratory Battelle Memorial Institute, as well as the Shelby SuperCars company, which manufactures the fastest car in the world: SSC Aero.
     
  8. Huntsville, AL: Call us ignorant, but when we started out with this list, we didn’t imagine an Alabama city claiming a spot. But Huntsville, AL, kept popping up as a great place to live and work for computer and information specialists, space engineers, mathematicians and other geeky jobs. It’s also the "center of rocket-propulsion research" in the country, whatever that means. And Huntsville’s first name was actually Twickenham, named after Alexander Pope’s home in England. Geeks across all disciplines.
     
  9. Bethesda, MD: Bethesda is one of the richest towns in the country, and the 2000 census found it to be the best educated town in America. Bethesda actually has quite a lot of hot people, too. But (not to cause controversy), it’s over 85% white, most of whom are rich. They probably work at one of the many important (ahem, geeky) institutions headquartered in Bethesda, like the National Institutes of Health campus, National Library of Medicine, Consumer Product Safety Commission or Lockheed Martin. The Discovery Channel also used to call Bethesda home.
     
  10. Boston, MA: Whether you’re a history geek, food geek, arts geek or brainy, Ivy League geek, Boston is the city for you. One of the oldest metro areas in the country, Boston and the surrounding area is home to countless battle sites and historical monuments and landmarks, and also top colleges and universities like Boston College, Boston University, MIT, Boston Latin School, Harvard, the New England Conservatory, Massachusetts College of Art, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and many others. Just imagine all the geeks working, visiting and attending class in Boston: you’ll be surrounded! The Hynes Convention Center is also located in Boston,and brings in more geeks from around the country for the Berklee College of Music jazz festival and competition, Harvard Model Congress, Harvard Model United Nations, and Anime Boston.