Forbes columnist Joel Kotkin has compiled a ranking of U.S. cities based on "brain gain," or the number of college-educated people moving into and out of the country's largest MSAs. Nashville grades out very well, along with a number of other Sun Belt cities: Our in-migration has been almost triple New York's and more than five times L.A.'s.
And wherever these college graduates migrate, they are at least as likely to settle outside the urban core. Another overlooked fact: Most places with the highest percentages of college-educated people are in suburbs. Only two of the 20 most-educated counties in the country are located in the urban core: New York (Manhattan) and San Francisco. Virtually all the rest are suburban.