Top 10 Cities to Date a Nerd

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With “The Social Network” nominated for an Oscar and Mark Zuckerberg named Time Magazine Person of the Year, in 2011 it has never been cooler to be a nerd! In the day and age of all things high-tech, we couldn’t think of a better time than now to celebrate the self-proclaimed nerds of We researched our top 10 cities with the highest educated members, either in technical or educational occupations, and Eureka! Sunnyvale, CA (in the heart of Silicon Valley) is THE number one place to find yourself your very own nerd! The nerd-factors of some cities seem obvious because of the brainy companies and schools that are stationed there. For instance, Sunnyvale is in the home to many online businesses, Cambridge is home to Harvard University, and Somerville is home to another prestigious university, Tufts. In each one of our geek-hubs you can find a technologically advanced company or a scholarly university. So it seems if you have a heart for the smart, search for a smarty-pants of your own in one of our top 10 cities. Here is the line-up ranked in order of nerdiness:

  1. Sunnyvale, CA
  2. Cambridge, MA
  3. Somerville, MA
  4. Berkeley, CA
  5. Santa Clara, CA
  6. Ann Arbor, MI
  7. Boulder, CO
  8. Columbia, MD
  9. Fairfax, VA
  10. Rockville, MD

Do you have an eye for the intelligent? If so, tell us what makes them so attractive in the comments below.

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  1. Posted March 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Timely list. I’m not surprised that Sunnyvale was on the top of the list. I look forward to seeing one of your success couples from these intellectually stimulating cities.

  2. Posted March 2, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    How awesome. I live near Rockville & Columbia, work in Fairfax and I am surrounded by awesome geeks and nerds. 🙂

  3. Amber
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Super psyched to read this article, as my boyfriend and I, both Somerville residents and self-proclaimed nerds, met on!

  4. Jesse
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t forget that Cambridge, MA is the home of the ultimate Nerd magnet, MIT. And I’ll be the high presence of nerd-types in Somerville has more to do with the porous border with Cambridge that allows the nerds to easily pass back and forth and spread their nerdy message.

    • Posted March 4, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ah yes, indeed, indeed.

    • Jeff
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure the two do feed off of each other, but give Tufts some credit here…not exactly un-nerdy, compared to Harvard/MIT or not

  5. Mike
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, everyone missed the question of “why” this is attractive to them so let me be the first. Those who are “nerdy” appeal to me because they show or talk about those things I hunger for, “information”, “Ideas”, and “how” they view the world of techno speak. As a engineer I love typical down and dirty street talk but, when in the compnay of those nerdy folks, I’m nearly spell bound with not only listening but talking because I feel this is “my area” and “this person” is now on the same level with my thinking…After that, I’ll argue who was the best hitter ever in baseball over a beer and a dog! 🙂

    • Danie
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Are you single? Lol.

  6. JD
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really? Huntsville Alabama is the country’s SECOND most technological area, after “Silicon Valley”, and WE ARE NOT ON THE LIST? We have ROCKET SCIENTISTS for gosh sakes — what’s more nerdy than that?

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nope, sorry. Some surprises not on there include Palo Alto (home of Facebook), Austin/Round Rock (home of Dell), Clear Lake/Houston for NASA, etc. etc. Academia also played a roll, not just computers. But thanks for the note!

  7. Laura
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    Only nerds would comment and be mad that their city is not mentioned. haha 🙂

  8. DM
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    F.Y.I. Tufts is in Medford, MA not Somerville..

      Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey DM! The main campus of Tufts is located on the border of Medford and Somerville. Here’s a link to where we got our info:


  9. CeCe
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I heart nerd love! I appreciate too that it’s finally considered to be at least kind of cool to be smart. I’d be interested to find out about Los Angeles’ nerd love connection factor…

  10. john
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sun Microsystems (santa clara) was bought by Oracle almost a year ago. When do they update this dribble

      Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey John- thanks for the note to update. We’ll get on it!

  11. Cheryl
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good luck with that. Can you say Asperger’s syndrome? I’m just saying, look before you leap! I’ve been married to an undiagnosed “Aspie” for over twenty years who looked like the “perfect” geek, dork, nerd kind of guy and he does have some wonderful qualities. It’s just a very abnormal kind of relationship and we should have stayed lunch buddies and philosophical debate partners rather than trying to be married.

  12. Ben C.
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I find intelligent women very attractive. No, they don’t have to be wearing glasses or look like the librarian from school. If she is able to carry on an intelligent coversation, she instantly has my attention. I like a woman who knows what she wants in life, is able to express herself and isn’t afraid to talk with someone. I believe an intelligent woman is a thing of beauty that will long outlast any “plastic” modifications that some women seem to think they have to have. A woman who has a career, isn’t afraid to venture out and think for herself and can relate to me what her likes and dislikes are, then we would be able to have some fun. Being able to be with someone involves a lot more than sexual contact. They must be stimulating to the mind as well. She doesn’t have to be completely absorbed by her work, just be able to tell me about it. Let me into her life, share with me as I will share with her. I enjoy hearing how her day went, what things happened and how things got done. That is part of being in a relationship. If she will share her life with me, then I will share with her. I feel that any relationship worth having is an equal, two way partnership. It takes both parties to make it work. If both parties are intelligent enough to discuss things with each other, then there is a better chance of things working out for them. I’ll stop there, before I go into anything much more in depth. Just my thoughts and ponderings. Smile and have a wonderful day. Ben.

    • PamelaJ
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      What a great description! I’m a higher ed nerd and this is *exactly* the kind of balanced, fulfilling relationship that my friends and I hope for as we search for potential spouses and partners among the geek and non-geek population. =)(So, Ben…I don’t suppose you’re still single and somewhere in central Ohio?) =D

      • Ben C.
        Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I live in Tenn. I’m a native of Nashville, born and raised. Kind of hard to imagine a Southern Gentleman, who is intelligent and kind of nedy, isn’t it? Just remember, Nashville was once referred to as the Athens of the Suth. We have many colleges here. Many high tech businesses as well. Yes, I am single. In case you wanted to stil know. Smile, have a wonderful day.

    • Pamela J
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Alas for the Ohio native – a promising-sounding geek far away! Too bad I really like my job here… Not hard to imagine a southern gentleman nerd at all. 😉 You’re right near Swanee – a lovely old school whose establishment was inspired by the institution I work for. And, one of my favorite nerd friends is an awesome cook from far further south! Good luck with your nerd-to-nerd search! You have a wonderful day, too. Pamela =)

  13. Glenn
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is great to go out with a woman who does not talk of her ex’s, consider a giggle an appropriate response to a question, or think the ultimate flirt is to flip her hair. Whether it is (3) political, (2) environmental or (1) technical, the evening does not drag through the first date. Lord help us find a soul mate who is more intelligent than we are – nothing like a challenge to stimulate life.

  14. Rick
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    The best thing about Nerds is they don’t try to act intelligent and show off. They just are ! I can’t stand a women or even another guy for that matter who tries to convince everyone how intelligent he/she is. Those who are Nerds and smart don’t have to try and prove it to everyone. As a male I can’t stand a women with vanity. Usually they have something to hide and usually stupid.

    • Danie
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have to disagree. I am very vain, and very intelligent. I guess you will have to take my word for it, as I am not going to list what does make me intelligent, as that would cancel out my point. I am the kind of woman that dresses nice, wears makeup and occasionally the going-out hoochie attire. I have nothing to hide, and tell it how it is. Unfortunately, there are not many people who can handle this in another person, let alone a datable man.

  15. farid
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    What I dont understand is that why cities like N.Y. and L.A. are not in this list? how can these cities with millions of population have lesser educated people or as you said here “nerds”, than the 10 cities enlisted here? isnt the base of this statistical study wrong?

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink | Reply

      We looked at density of nerds. So while there might be a lot of nerds in LA and New York, they don’t make up a huge percentage of the population like the other cities.

  16. Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Uh, Sun Microsystems???? That company was purchased by Oracle a long time ago. Sun is but a memory.

  17. Gustavo Rodriguez
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am shocked that Austin Texas isn’t on this list. It’s a university town, filled with young single people and a huge tech city. I have to say it’s the only city I’ve been in where 1/2 the people you’ll meet in a bar work in the computer industry.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Austin wasn’t on the expanded list, but Round Rock was (because of Dell). Bigger cities had a hard time because we looked at percentages, not bulk numbers.

  18. KingoftheNerds
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ironically I couldn’t disagree more with these ten cities for nerds. Now I am solidly a Nerd I have 3 doctorates,computer science, art history, philosophy. these cities in particular seem… vacuous to me. Yeah you have MIT and yeah you have Sunnyvale. but beyond those they do nothing for me as a Nerdy single. The best place I have found is Minneapolis. The people are nice,the city is wonderful, and there is a vast array of nerdly activities constantly going on all year long. I say your list is biased.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We simply based our list on where we have the most members like yourself — educated and/or in a technical or education related field. So while there might be very cool cities for the intellectual mind, we simply looked where you could find them if they’re your type.

    • blackbeauty
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Calm down not everyone recognizes a genius when they see or hear it-your under appreciated huh?

    • Posted April 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      @KingoftheNerds: 3 PhD’s? C’mon. You don’t need to go overboard in order to troll this blog.

      If you’re willing to post proof that you’ve received three doctorate degrees, then I’m willing to believe you.

      Until then, from the comfort of my office here in Lewiston, Maine which displays my M.D. (Tufts), J.D. (BU), and Econ. Ph.D. (Harvard), I’ll feel free to assume that you’ve simply made that up.

  19. Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Aren’t they really talking about geeks not nerds? Did the lingo change? I consider myself a nerd because I read a lot of literature, not because I’m married to my computer. But I do have to say, they sexiest part of a guy is between his ears. Intelligence is definitely a turn on.

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We didn’t know there was a difference between a geek and a nerd, but that could be a fun future blog post!

  20. Megan
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How is Washington not on this list? Redmond, Seattle, Bellevue? We have Microsoft, Nintendo, Expedia, Amazon, etc. I just don’t get it….

    • Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Redmond and Bellevue were actually fairly high on the list — within the top 25 — but not quite in the top 10.

  21. blackbeauty
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I find nerds highly attractive, because they thirst for knowledge and aren’t cocky or sadistic-I want someone who I can learn something from as well as them being able to teach me without looking down on me.

    • KingoftheNerds
      Posted March 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You and I should talk sometime. As the name implies I am constantly searching and finding new knowledge.

  22. Appinette
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What makes intelligent people sexy is the way their minds work. It’s stimulating, as well as informative, to watch them get passionate about their work, and if there’s a topic they don’t know about, at least their gray matter can follow the conversation. Nothing worse than a trout face when I’m talking about MY area of expertise.

  23. Posted March 17, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Outside of the United States, there are no intelligent nerds worth dating. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, we’re rather backwards.

    Here in Toronto we’re all beastly primitive excuses for sentient creatures. Routinely practicing social dominance through forceful aggression is one of my personal favourite past times.

    God bless America.

  24. Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3 are in the DC area, which is where I am. I’ve been married to a geek (the engineer/physicist-type) for over 30 years – we have the greatest thing going!

  25. Posted March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is funny and true… I met my boyfriend on over 2 years ago. Our first date was in Columbia, MD which is where we live now. He is indeed nerdy, but that’s why I love him!

  26. Posted August 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’d love to live in California, where the smarter people from USA are.

  27. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink | Reply


  28. Posted February 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ‘The Social Network’ has opened people’s eyes to just how much ‘nerds,’ can achieve! Who wouldn’t want to date a guy or girl who is capable of coming up with something as awesome as Facebook or the IPad?! It won’t be too long now before girls are the ones nervous about talking to the nerds! 😛


  29. Posted February 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It seems that with the creation of such cool, trendy things like Facebook and the iPhone, nerds have never been so in vogue! 😛

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