Society South is Britain's brainiest area

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The Independent Online
London and the South-east have the greatest concentration of brainpower in the country, while the North and Wales have the lowest.

The distribution across regions of people with a degree-level education or above is very uneven and becoming more so. London and the South-east have the highest share of the highly qualified, with inner London the brainiest part of Britain. The North, Wales and the West Midlands have the lowest share.

Indeed, apart from a few metropolitan areas outside London - including Oxford and Cambridge - and a few socially desirable rural spots, graduates abandon pretty much everywhere else in favour of the south-eastern corner.

Neither the countryside nor other industrial regions hold much attraction for them, according to research highlighted today in a new publication for businesses from the Economic and Social Research Council.

The reason is not that southerners are cleverer but that most jobs requiring higher educational qualifications are to be found in the South-east.