Archive for the ‘By The Numbers’ Category

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 14th 2010 at 2:40pm UTC

New World Financial Order

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Is a new world financial order emerging from the economic crisis? Will Asia’s rising financial centers displace the long-held dominance of New York and London?

The newly released edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), an annual competitiveness ranking of the world’s leading financial centers, provides useful data with which to assess the evolving landscape of global finance.

The map above, prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), shows the world’s leading financial centers based on the GFCI ranking.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Sep 24th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

Density Hubs Across the USA

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Density is a key factor in innovation and regional economic growth. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve looked at density of human capital, the creative class, and high-tech innovation. Instead of measuring these factors on a per capita basis, we looked at them in terms of land area, or per square kilometer.

The first map below plots the top 10 metros on each of the basic density measures, charting human capital, creative class workers, artistic and cultural creatives, patented innovations, and high-tech workers per square kilometer.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Sep 22nd 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Density of Innovation

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

My past several posts have looked at the density of key economic and demographic factors across America’s metropolitan regions. Today, I turn to the density of high-tech industry and of innovation. Long ago, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter highlighted the role of innovation in powering the rise of new industries, the creative destruction of existing ones, and the growth in prosperity of economies. Robert Solow won the Nobel prize for identifying the role of technology in economic growth and development. Paul Romer has shown how the accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge is the central force in endogenous economic growth. Michael Porter and AnnaLee Saxenian, among others, have shown how clusters of high-tech companies and other economic assets have propelled the rise of new firms like Intel in semiconductors, Apple in computing, Genetech in biotech, Google in search, and countless others that have introduced not just new innovations but whole new industries and epochs of regional growth.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Sep 17th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Density of Artistic and Cultural Creatives

Friday, September 17th, 2010

My past several posts have looked at the density of key variables across America’s metropolitan regions. Today, I turn to the density of a subset of the creative class – the density of artists and cultural creatives. My own earlier research, which landed me on “The Colbert Report” of all places, showed that metros with higher proportions of employed artistic and cultural workers also have higher incomes, higher rates of innovation, and higher housing prices. The reason is not that artistic and cultural creatives are more likely to launch new businesses or invent new products, but that their location in an area signals that a community is open to diverse groups of people who are open to new ideas and self-expression. The concentration of artistic and cultural creatives in a place is a sign of a local ecosystem that is more conducive to generating new ideas and mobilizing resources around them.

Our measure for the density of artistic and cultural creatives is the number of artistic and cultural creative workers per square kilometer. The map below shows the density of artistic and cultural creatives across U.S. metro regions. The median density of artistic and cultural creatives across all U.S. metros is only .08 per square kilometer. The densest metros have more than four artistic and cultural creatives per square kilometer, while the average metro has less than a tenth of a cultural worker. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Sep 15th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

Creative Class Density

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

In this, the third in my series of posts on density, I look at the density of the creative class. More than 35 million Americans are members of the creative class, making up roughly a third of the workforce. The creative class is a measure of human capital that looks at what occupations people work at rather than whether they earned a college degree. The creative class includes workers in science and technology, business and management, health care and law, and arts, culture, design, media, and entertainment.

The map below shows the density of the creative class across U.S. metros. The median density across all U.S. metros is roughly 8.4 creative class workers per square kilometer. The densest metros have more than 140 creative class workers per square kilometer, while the least dense have less than one. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Sep 11th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

Human Capital Density

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

It’s now well-accepted that the concentration of highly skilled people or of human capital is a key element of economic growth and development. Jane Jacobs argued that the clustering of talented and energetic people in cities is the fundamental driving force of economic development. The Nobel prize-winning University of Chicago economist Robert Lucas formalized Jacobs’ insights, showing that human capital externalities, or what have been called Jane Jacobs externalities, are indeed the key factor in economic growth and development.

But most economists measure human capital on the basis of population – the conventional measure being the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree or above. Our analysis here takes a different approach, getting at the density of human capital by looking at the number of adults with a bachelor’s degree per square kilometer.

The map below shows the human capital density of U.S. metros. The median human capital density across all U.S. metros is roughly 7.4 people per square kilometer. The densest metros have more than 100 degree holders per square kilometer, while the least dense have less than one. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Sep 9th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Power of Density

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Density is a key factor in innovation and economic growth. The dense geographic clustering of economic activities was true of the industrial behemoths of the past – steelmaking in Pittsburgh and automotive production in Detroit. And, despite advances in communications technology, it applies even more so today: from high-tech firms in Silicon Valley to film producers in Los Angeles and recording studios and record labels in Nashville. There’s no doubt: The geographic concentration of firms, industries, technologies, people, and other economic assets plays a powerful role in innovation and economic growth.

The great economist Alfred Marshall long ago outlined the dynamic of agglomeration – that is, the process by which co-location of related economic activities and assets shapes industries and economic development. Jane Jacobs showed us how the clustering of diverse groups of people, firms, and industries in cities provides the basic engine of innovation and new product development. Harvard’s Michael Porter has shown how clusters of related industries, customers, and suppliers power innovation and growth. Density makes it easier for people and firms to interact and connect with one another, and it reduces the effort, friction, and energy that’s used to make these connections. Density increases the speed at which new ideas are conceived and diffused across the economy, accelerating the speed with which new enterprises and new industries are created.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 29th 2010 at 11:00am UTC

Where the Highest-Paying Jobs Are

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Ever wonder where the highest-paying jobs in your field are? Now, courtesy of the Bureau of  Labor Statistics (BLS), we have some answers.

Late last week, the BLS released a report (via Catherine Rampell of The New York Times Economix) showing the U.S. metros with the highest-paying jobs in nine major occupational categories including: business, finance, and management; professional and technical work; service; office work; construction; and blue-collar production jobs, among others. The BLS measures what it calls ”average pay relative” which includes wages, salaries, commissions, and bonuses. And, its calculations control for differences in the composition of jobs, industry, firm-level, and occupational characteristics, and the fact that data are collected at different times during the year. As the BLS defines it: “The average pay relative for all occupations and each occupational group equals 100.” A figure above 100 reflects the percentage above the national norm, while values below 100 reflect the percentage below that norm.

The chart below shows the pay profile for a series of U.S. metro regions. San Francisco is highest, followed by Greater New York, Salinas, California, and Greater Boston, which are all above the U.S. norm. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat May 22nd 2010 at 12:00pm UTC

Startups Surge in The Great Reset

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Economic crises like the current one have devastating economic and social costs, but they also give rise to major rounds of technological innovation. That’s why I call them Great Resets. There was a significant spike in patents in the wake of the Panic and Long Depression of 1873 – and subsequent decades saw the rise of major new innovations from the light bulb, phonograph, and telephones to systems innovations like electric power, telephone systems, and urban transit (i.e. street cars, cable cars, and subway systems). The Great Depression was far and away the most “technologically progressive decade of the 20th century,” according to the detailed research of economic historian Alexander Field, outpacing the high-tech boom of the late 20th century by a considerable margin.

Joseph Schumpeter long ago showed how economic crises give rise to the gales of creative destruction – as new entrepreneurial individuals and enterprises seize the opportunity to forge new business models, and new industries revolutionize and transform the economy. The British economist of innovation, Christopher Freeman, found evidence that innovations not only accelerate but bunch up during economic downturns only to be unleashed as the economy begins to recover, ushering in powerful new waves of technological change. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 31st 2010 at 1:56pm UTC

Why Nations Struggle or Thrive

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

PiggyBankShadow

Last Saturday, I posted the Global Well-Being Map from the Gallup Organization which showed how the countries of the world stack up on an index of well-being which runs from “suffering” to “thriving.”

The Gallup study found a “clear well-being divide between the wealthier countries of northern, western, and central Europe and some poorer countries within eastern and southern Europe.”

Economic development clearly plays a role in levels of  national well-being or happiness. A major cross-national study by University of Pennsylvania economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson found a close association between income and the happiness of nations. As Wolfers writes:  “1) Rich people are happier than poor people. 2) Richer countries are happier than poorer countries. 3) As countries get richer, they tend to get happier.” (more…)