Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 28th 2010 at 8:45am UTC

More Best Places for College Grads


Here’s an update of our Top 25 Cities for College Graduates which ran earlier this week at The Daily Beast. Since my MPI team did the analysis for all 350-plus U.S. metros, we decided to break out the rankings by metro size. Below you’ll find the top 25 rankings for metros in three size groups – large metros (1 million and above), medium-size metros (between 250,000 and 1 million people), and small metros (those with under 250,000 people).

As we’ve said before, this is a data-driven analysis and small shifts in the weighting can make a significant difference in the final rankings. So treat these rankings as a broad guide to interesting places and try not get too bogged down by the specific ranks.

And do have a look at our Place-Finder tool to help find the place that’s best for you. Enjoy!

Large Metros (over 1 million people)

1. Austin-Round Rock, TX

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

3. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH

4. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA

6. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA

7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA

8. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

10. Baltimore-Towson, MD

11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

12. Columbus, OH

13. Rochester, NY

14. Raleigh-Cary, NC

15. Denver-Aurora, CO

16. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

17. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA

18. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

20. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

21. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

22. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA

23. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI

24. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA

25. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Medium-Size Metros (250,000 to 1 million people)

1. Madison, WI

2. Ann Arbor, MI

3. Durham, NC

4. Boulder, CO

5. Lincoln, NE

6. Tallahassee, FL

7. Trenton-Ewing, NJ

8. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria, CA

9. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

11. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO

12. Honolulu, HI

13. Lexington-Fayette, KY

14. Eugene-Springfield, OR

15. Anchorage, AK

16. Lansing-East Lansing, MI

17. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA

18. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA

19. Tucson, AZ

20. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY

21. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

22. Fresno, CA

23. Baton Rouge, LA

24. Jackson, MS

25. Albuquerque, NM

Small Metros (fewer than 250,000 people)

1. Ithaca, NY

2. Iowa City, IA

3. Charlottesville, VA

4. College Station-Bryan, TX

5. Lawrence, KS

6. Columbia, MO

7. State College, PA

8. Olympia, WA

9. Bloomington, IN

10. Missoula, MT

10. Athens-Clarke County, GA

12. Champaign-Urbana, IL

13. Fargo, ND-MN

14. Bloomington-Normal, IL

15. Waco, TX

16. Lafayette, IN

17. Bellingham, WA

18. Kingston, NY

19. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA

20. Flagstaff, AZ

21. Santa Fe, NM

22. Logan, UT-ID

23. Chico, CA

24. Harrisonburg, VA

25. Auburn-Opelika, AL

The core measures used to develop the ranking are:

  • Presence of 20-somethings (20-24-year-olds) in the population.
  • Singles – measured as the share of unmarried people.
  • Earnings potential – measured as average salary.
  • Unemployment rate.
  • College-educated workforce – the share of the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Rental housing – Having an abundant, available stock of rental housing is key. We measured this as the share of all housing made up of rental units.
  • Youth-oriented amenities – like bars, restaurants, cafes, sports facilities, and entertainment venues.
  • Creative capital – we use this to capture the creative energy of a place. It’s measured as the share of employed artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, designers, and entertainers in the workforce.
  • Openness – a region’s openness to new and different kinds of people reflects a lack of barriers and willingness to let newcomers, including young people, have a go. Our measure is the share of gays and lesbians and foreign-born residents in a community.

For more on the methodology behind the analysis, visit the full article at The Daily Beast.

2 Responses to “More Best Places for College Grads”

  1. Michael Wells Says:

    So the best places for recent college graduates are college towns? This is news?

  2. serangoon dbss Says:

    serangoon dbss…

    [...]Creative Class » Blog Archive » More Best Places for College Grads – Creative Class[...]…