Archive for the ‘Rankings’ Category

Zoltan Acs
by Zoltan Acs
Wed Jun 17th 2009 at 4:40am UTC

The City of Your Dreams

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Some topics, like some years, seem never to go out of fashion. So with the ranking of cities. This is in part due to the almost endless ways in which the pie can be sliced and the endless interest in the different types of fruit. Surveys throw up different results. In one of the newer slices, Tyler Brule ranks the most livable cities in the world in the FT. The index is based on Monocle’s “world’s most livable cities.”

Zurich, Switzerland wins as the most livable city in the world followed by Copenhagen and Tokyo. But Copenhagen is the most interesting result. I have spent some time in Copenhagen recently and have been curious about several things. The Danes are the happiest people in the world, are the most entrepreneurial, and now have one of the most livable cities. Curious. I wonder what the Baltic states have that the rest of us do not? Is it the homogeneous culture, is it the low level of stress? In the sixties the Danes decided not to teach children how to read because it was too stressful. College students get a stipend to go to school. And the city, well it is also a very livable place with almost everyone on bicycles, including women with babies in the winter.


The most ‘liveable’
*First time on list: Oslo and Auckland
Dropped off: Minneapolis and Portland
Source: Monocle
Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jun 10th 2009 at 12:05pm UTC

Most Liveable Cities

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Vancouver ranks first, Toronto fourth, Calgary fifth. Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney all make the top 10. Vienna, Helsinki, Geneva, and Zurich round out the top 10. Props to my former hometown Pittsburgh, which topped the list of U.S. cities coming in 29th on the global list. Here are the top and bottom 10 from The Economist.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 4th 2009 at 9:45am UTC

The Next Silicon Valley Is…

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Silicon Valley, according to a new Milken Institute report on North America’s high-tech regions. But Seattle, Cambridge, and D.C. are among the nation’s leading high-tech hot spots. The report also charts the tech turnarounds in Rustbelt regions like Kalamazoo, Michigan and Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, as well as documenting the rise of leading high-tech regions in Canada and Mexico. Here’s the top ten.

11San Jose – Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA100.0
23Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA46.4
32Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA45.2
45Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV41.8
54Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale, CA40.2
66Dallas – Plano – Irving, TX21.8
77San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos, CA19.3
811Santa Ana – Anaheim-Irvine, CA17.7
99New York – White Plains – Wayne, NY-NJ16.8
108San Francisco – San Mateo-Redwood City, CA16.1

Outside the U.S., the report finds that:

  • Toronto, ON jumped 10 places from 2003, showing impressive gains in building and attracting high-tech businesses in manufacturing and reproducing of optical media, biopharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
  • Baja California has become a key manufacturing center for high-tech giants such as Casio, Honeywell, Sanyo, and Sony. The state finished in second place in 2003, just after San Jose, in the ranking for manufacturing of semiconductors and other electronic components. It also leads North America in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.
  • Vancouver, BC showed the greatest rise among the top-10 metros for software publishing, climbing from 14th place in 2003 to ninth place in 2007.

My colleague Charlotta Mellander compared these Milken high-tech rankings with our own regional demographic measures for the top 50 U.S. and Canadian metros and found significant correlations to:

  • Economic Output: Measured as gross metropolitan product per person (0.475).
  • Talent: The Creative Class (0.46),Super-creatives (0.34), and Human Capital – percent of population with a BA and above (0.3).
  • Openness and Tolerance: The Mosaic Index – a measure of openness to foreign-born people (0.45); and also to the Gay Index (0.315) when San Jose – the extreme outlier – is excluded from the analysis.
Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 23rd 2009 at 3:30pm UTC

The Very Uneven States of America

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
american human development index map.jpg

Here’s the map from the Social Science Research Council’s American Human Development Project.

The pattern is more or less what you would think. Catherine Rampell from Economix notes that:

Connecticut, which has the highest development of all American states, is roughly comparable with Ireland (the fifth most-developed country worldwide). But Mississippi has an H.D.I. level roughly on par with that of Turkey (#76 in the international development rankings).

MapScroll and Economix clear up any remaining confusion about an earlier, problematic map. Check out the project’s website and terrific interactive maps.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue May 19th 2009 at 2:00pm UTC

Winningest Sports Towns

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Map from the Toronto Star.

Indianapolis takes first place and Boston second (so much for the curse of the Bambino). New York is 12th, D.C. 35th, L.A. 14th, Chicago 23rd. The ranking, by the Toronto Star, calculates the winning percentages since 2000 for the 37 U.S. and Canadian cities with at least two professional sports teams.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri May 8th 2009 at 7:30am UTC

World’s Best Cities?

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Mercer’s annual ranking of the world’s “most liveable cities” is out. Vienna took the top spot. But Swiss cities do very well with Zurich and Geneva taking the second and third spots, with Bern in 9th.

Canada does well too - with Vancouver fourth, Toronto 15th, Ottawa 19th, Montreal 22nd and Calgary tied with Singapore for 26th.

Australia and New Zealand punch above their weight – Auckland is fifth, Sydney 10th, Wellington 12th, Melbourne 17th, Perth 21st, Adelaide 30th, and Brisbane 34th.

Germany has four cities in the top 20, Dusseldorf is sixth, Munich seventh, Frankfurt eighth, and Berlin 16th; plus, Nuremberg 23rd, Hamburg 28th, .

Scandinavian and Nordic cities do reasonably well – Copenhagen is 11th, Stockholm 20th, Oslo 24th, and Helsinki 30th .

The ”Am-Brus-Twerp” mega-region has two top-20 cities – Amsterdam at 13th, and Brussels 14th.

Below are the top 20 and here is the full list:

For comparison purposes, here’s my own list of the world’s top 20 city-regions based on our measure of economic output derived from satellite images of the world at night.

Two things stand out.

First, the world’s biggest city regions are not necessarily the “most liveable,” at least according to the Mercer criteria. Tokyo is 35th on the Mercer rankings, London 38th, and NYC 49th just inching into the top 50 worldwide.

Second, American cities get creamed (again). Honolulu at 29th is the top-rated American city, followed by San Francisco 30th, Boston 35th, Portland 41st, D.C. and Chicago tied for 44th, New York 49th, and Seattle 50th. L.A. fails to make it into the top 50.

While I find such lists informative and fun, in my book Who’s Your City, I say that there is really no such thing as a single best city:  Invoking the old and somewhat cliched adage, “different strokes for different folks,” I argue the thing that really matters is to find location that best fits you.

So, how does this list jibe with your own list of the world’s best cities? And, most of all, which city is the one that seems best for you?

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Apr 9th 2009 at 9:34am UTC

Creativity Index

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

This graph is the initial installment of Martin Prosperity Institute research updating the Creativity Index. The work has developed a matched data set on the 3Ts of economic development – technology, talent, and tolerance – for 374 North American metro regions. The study shows that while some Canadian metros like Ottawa compare favorably to their U.S. counterparts, Canadian metros tend to lag on talent. More here. And lots more to come in the future.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Mar 17th 2009 at 7:38am UTC

Class and Well-Being

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Last week, we looked at what makes for happy states. One thing that stood out was that states with larger concentrations of the working class had lower levels of well-being.

So, we decided to take a closer look at the relationship between the working class and several key indicators of state wealth and well-being.

What we found is striking  – and frankly troubling. States with large concentrations of working class jobs had lower levels of income, GDP per capita, and well-being – pretty much everything across the board.

There were significant negative correlations between states with a large share of working class jobs and three of the five component indices in the Gallup well-being index: healthy behavior ( -.65), physical health (-.42), and life evaluation (-.31), as well as for the well-being index overall (-.51).

The pattern was similar, even worse, when we looked at the relationships between the working class and GDP per capita (-.51), income (-.69), human capital levels (-.71), and housing prices (-.62).

So maybe it’s time to think twice when we hear how important it is to save “good” working class jobs.  Individually, that may well be the case. Some of these jobs pay very well, and lots of people who lose them may find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to find similar work at their pay levels

But from the point of view of society and economic development broadly, it’s important to recognize that states with large concentrations of working class jobs do very poorly in terms of wealth and well-being.

These findings distress me personally. Looking them over and over, I found myself thinking back to advice  my father – who spent more then 50 years as a worker in a Newark eyeglass factory – gave my brother and I long ago. “Boys,” he said, ”I do this so you won’t have to. That’s why you have to stay in school, study hard, and go to college.” I understand much better now what he was driving at.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 13th 2009 at 9:00am UTC

What Makes Happy States

Friday, March 13th, 2009

So the past couple of days at the MPI – under the ever-watchful analytical eye of Charlotta Mellander – we took the Gallup happy states data and compared it to various measures of state economies. This is a first cut analysis and it’s dealing only with correlation or association and not causation, but the relationships are nonetheless interesting. Here’s a quick rundown.

Our analysis is in sync with what Will Wikinson already has pointed to: State happiness is associated with income (a correlation of .33 with our measure of average income), as well as housing prices (.49). Makes sense: People are willing to pay to live in happy places, and people with more income have more choices. And it’s even more closely associated with levels of human capital (that is, share of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above – it’s . 77)

And what about the creative class? Happy states appear to be creative states – at least as measured by the share of people employed in creative class jobs (with a correlation of .48). The correlations are even higher for the the super-creative core and the the overall creativity index (.53).

Makes you wonder: Are creatives more likely to live in happy places or are they more likely to be happy people? Well… psychologists have identified a powerful relationship between creativity and happiness. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi finds that engaging in creative activities like writing, playing music, computer programming, mountain climbing, or chess is a major source of happiness. But in her workplace studies, Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School says it works the other way around: She finds that it’s happiness – or should I say happy workplaces – that generate creative thinking and workplace innovation as opposed to vice versa. Psychologist Barbara Fredricksons suggests that “positive” people are more open-minded, less racially biased, more likely to see the bigger picture, and ultimately more creative. So maybe this kind of thing scales up from who we are and what we do to where we live.

On that score, yes, happy states are also apparently those greater concentrations bohemians (.43), immigrants (.36 ), and gays (.32), as well as states with higher levels of high-tech industry (.22) or those with more innovative potential.

One worrying finding: States with a large concentration of the working class are far less happy – with a negative correlation of (-.51). That’s downright unhappy. Perhaps Marx was right after all about the alienation that comes from industrial work – or in this case the unhappiness found in working class locations. We’ll be doing more on the connection between economic structure and state happiness in the future.

Is there any connection between between happy states and the personality types that live there? Using data provided by Cambridge University psychologist Jason Rentfrow we were able to compare happy states to the concentrations of the five major personality types – extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness-to-experience, and neuroticism. While it may not come as a big surprise, neurotic states were far less happy states – the correlation between the two being (-.62). The correlations for all four other personality types were all insignificant.

Take a look at the graphs here and let us know what you see – and think.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 11th 2009 at 4:48pm UTC

Happy States II

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Will Wilkinson picks up on the relationship between happiness and income.