ABSTRACT: There is an increasing consensus that `smart cities’ grow faster than other metropolitan areas. However, there is less evidence about mechanisms that induce higher population growth. We study migration patterns of individuals graduating secondary school in Chile by skill cohorts, to analyze who moves, who stays, and who leaves `smart cities’. Moreover, we also study the migration patterns of similar individuals living in other areas, to assess how much of the selection in the migration process affects the growth of cities with different educational attainment levels. Using detailed information about these graduating students, we estimate the relative importance of characteristics associated with both cities and universities. We found heterogeneous effects of these characteristics in the migration decision. High-skilled individuals are more affected by characteristics of the city, especially the labor market. Meanwhile, the quality of the university matters more for low-skilled individuals. These heterogeneous responses imply high levels of selection in the migration process, which in turn, may decrease the likelihood that new smart cities arise in the future.