But regions with high scores on my creativity index, a measure of long term economic potential based on the 3 Ts – technology, talent and tolerance – are much more resilient than others on average, according to an analysis by Charlotta Mellander and Patrick Adler of our MPI research team.
Not surprisingly, many, if not most, of the “contracting” metros are older industrial centers, like Buffalo, Detroit, St. Louis, and Cleveland; or service, retirement, or tourist centers like Miami and Phoenix. Their median score on the creativity index score is rather low (.598). The “at-risk” metros include a mix of older industrial metros and some creative performers like San Diego and San Francisco. Their median creativity index score is .698.
Metros with high creativity index scores dominate the list of the “expanding” metros – Seattle, San Jose, Austin, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Raleigh, along with resource-oriented metros in Texas and Oklahoma. The median creativity index score for these metros is .750.
We then conducted a statistical correlation analysis between the Moody’s economic rating and the creativity index. The correlation was positive (0.36) and statistically significant.