Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Aug 13th 2009 at 9:30am UTC

Drug Use and Class

Yesterday, we looked at the relationship between drug use and economic patterns. We saw that drug use was associated with both higher levels of state economic output as well as higher levels of unemployment.

Today, I turn to the relationships between drug use and economic class. My colleague Charlotta Mellander charted the relationships between drug use and the percentage of a state’s economy that is made up of two classes: the creative class – that is, people who work in knowledge-based, artistic, and professional occupations; and the working class – those who work in production, transportation, and construction jobs.

While the associations between drug use overall are weak, the patterns for marijuana and cocaine are significant. Take the creative class: Both marijuana and cocaine use are positively and significantly related to states with higher concentrations of the creative class.

Correlation coefficient: 39**

Correlation coefficient: 36**

Now look at the results for the working class, where the pattern is reversed. Both marijuana and cocaine are negatively and significantly related to the concentration of working class jobs in state.

Correlation coefficient: -.35**

Correlation coefficient: -.36**

Note: * indicates statistical significance at the .05 level; ** indicates significance at the .01 level.

4 Responses to “Drug Use and Class”

  1. Adam King Says:

    Would like to see the graphs for other drugs for comparison, as looking at these, the link is not altogether obvious. Looks more linked to, for instance, political climate of the state than the creative class size. Regardless, it’s not exactly a scientific correlation to equate state-wide creative class size and marijuana/cocaine usage. There might be a tertiary element that is the actual commonality between these things. I know no one is asserting a causal link here, but I think it might be implied in some people’s minds unless its explicitly iterated that that’s not the statement being made.

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  4. MegO! Says:

    Anyone who has attended art or design school won’t be surprised by these numbers!