Posts Tagged ‘Who’s Your City?’

Reham Alexander
by Reham Alexander
Thu Feb 10th 2011 at 6:00am UTC

Looking For Love In All the Right Places?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Which of these two decisions do you think has a bigger impact on someone’s life: finding the right job or finding the right significant other? No one’s going to argue with the notion that where you live affects your employment prospects. But the place you call home has a lot to do with your chances of finding the right partner as well. Having an enticing “mating market” matters as much or more than a vibrant labor market.  It’s not just that some places have more singles than others.  If you’re a single man or single woman, the odds of meeting that special someone vary dramatically across the country. Read Richard’s full post here and check out an interesting article from the Village Voice here.

The map below shows which cities have a surplus of single men and single women. 

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 29th 2010 at 12:35pm UTC

Canada’s Trick-or-Treater Index

Friday, October 29th, 2010

In keeping with the spirit of this holiday weekend, here’s a fun list of how Canada’s metros stack up on our Trick-or-Treater Index. While of course all the metros are likely to have great neighborhoods for trick-or-treating, the original index we did for the United States generated so much interest that my MPI colleagues and I decided to do a similar one for Canada.

It’s based on five key criteria, all similar to the ones we used for the U.S. index.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Oct 9th 2010 at 9:15am UTC

Suburban Renewal

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

This is the longer, unedited version of my column in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Remaking our sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily put up infrastructure, and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.

What a dramatic shift. Just a couple of decades ago, the suburbs were the locus of the American Dream. More than their sprawling, large-lot homes and big wide lawns, their shopping malls, industrial parks, and office campuses accounted for a growing percentage of the nation’s economic output.  A good many of them formed into Edge Cities—satellite centers where people could live, work, and shop without ever having to set foot in the center city.

With millions of homes underwater or in foreclosure, our suburbs and exurbs have taken some of the most visible hits from the great recession. In a stunning reversal, big cities like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle have become talent magnets at the same time, drawing ambitious people, empty-nesters, young-families, and even a growing number of offices back to their downtown cores. As inner city neighborhoods are being gentrified, blight and intransigent poverty are moving out to the suburbs, where one third of the nation’s poor now reside—1.5 million more than in cities, according to a Brookings study. And suburban poverty populations are growing at five times the rate of those in cities.


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

More Best Places for College Grads

Friday, May 28th, 2010

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


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon May 10th 2010 at 7:58am UTC

Family Flight

Monday, May 10th, 2010

It appears that families, not just the young and skilled, have been moving away from Rustbelt cities like Cleveland, according to this story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, based on a new report from the Brookings Institution.

“White flight” described the rush of white families to the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s. By the 1980s, observers talked of “middle-class flight” to reflect black residents who had joined the tide.  A new pattern may demand a new label. Research shows that an exodus of moms and dads of all races and income levels — family flight — is reshaping Cleveland and its region.  Cleveland lost nearly 10 percent of its people this decade and married couples with children led the stampede, a study released today reveals. An emptying city, meanwhile, drew few of the immigrant families replenishing communities elsewhere, resulting in swift decline.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Apr 18th 2010 at 9:30am UTC

You Are Where You Live

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

The great folks at GOOD magazine interviewed me for their neighborhoods issue.  Here it is.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 25th 2010 at 8:36pm UTC

Who’s Your LegoClick City?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010



Now this is pretty cool.  The great graphic above is from the folks at LegoClick.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 1st 2009 at 9:30am UTC

Where the Kids Are Heading

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

The Wall Street Journal asked six experts to come up with lists of the “next youth magnet cities.” I was one of them. The top spot was a tie – D.C. and Seattle, followed by NYC, Portland (OR), Austin, San Jose, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas, Chicago, and Boston. You can see the list and read the full story here.

Below is what I sent to the Journal.

My Rankings
These are based on my own rankings of the best places for young, professional singles, aged 20-29 in Who’s Your City?, as well as other rankings and surveys and my reading of current trends. The data are from Kevin Stolarick, additional analysis by Charlotta Mellander, and research assistance by Patrick Adler, my colleagues at the Martin Prosperity Institute.

1) New York City
The country’s largest city was the top destination for recent graduates according to the career-cast survey noted below. The city’s size affords migrants an economic diversity that simply cannot exist in smaller places. It’s the place to be if you’re in finance, fashion, entertainment, publishing, or even indie music. Also unparalleled is the city’s mythic status, as a place to test one’s mettle against the best and the brightest. One of the top five on my own rankings of the best places for young, single, 20-29-year-olds.

2) Washington, D.C
The public sector is ascendant and, in the eyes of many, Barack Obama is America’s coolest boss. These factors will only bolster Washington, D.C., a city that is already a hotbed of young talent. 45.9 percent of Washington, D.C.’s workforce has a bachelor’s degree or more, and young people enjoy positions of influence on congressional staffs and at think tanks. And it is a center for media, journalism, and blogging as well as high-tech. D.C. is the top city in my own rankings of best places for young singles aged 20-29. If I was 23 or 24 again, it’s where I’d head.

3) San Francisco/ Silicon Valley
Still the world’s high-tech hot spot. One of the top five on my own rankings. Great quality of life, a large stock of smart, driven young people, and fantastic restaurants and outdoor activities.

4) Chicago
If management or industry is your thing, Chicago is the place to be. It’s the talent magnet for the midwest and beyond, drawing driven young people by the droves. It has great amenities, great nightlife, a spectacular waterfront, great restaurants, and it’s affordable.

5) Boulder/ Denver
Yes, it’s smaller than the others, but it packs a real punch. Boulder ranked No. 1 among all U.S. destinations on my own rankings of the best places for young singles 20-29. Now add in Denver and it has the size and scale to be a great place for young professionals. It has thriving, high-tech industries about the best outdoor recreation – from skiing to cycling – to be had anywhere.

6) L.A.
If you want a career in film, entertainment, fashion, or music, it’s the place to be. Sure, it’s crowded, pricey, and the traffic is horrible, but it has abundant sunshine, great temperatures, unbelievable beaches, and fantastic restaurants.

7) Boston
It’s always been a great “stay-over” town for the thousands of regional college grads. This year, it surpassed NYC as the No. 1 destination for Harvard grads. It’s the world center for management consulting with strong finance and high-tech industries. Not to mention a great place to stick around, work for awhile, and go back to grad school.

8) Seattle
A high-tech and lifestyle mecca in its own right with Amazon, Microsoft, and more. It’s also a center for cutting-edge retail with Starbucks, Costco, and REI. Quality of place by the boatloads.

9) Austin
What can you say about a place whose motto is “Keep Austin Weird”? It remains a high-tech player, with great quality of life that’s affordable. It’s the indie music capital of the universe with SXSW and Austin City Limits and a great array of local venues. Plus, with residents like Lance Armstrong, it’s a cyclist and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.

10) Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill
Another great high-tech, university, smart city, which boasts a mild climate, highly educated population, great outdoor activities, and a great music scene.

Runners-Up/Honorable Mention:

  • Madison, Wisconsin, and Ann Arbor, Michigan – Both great stay-over college towns that rank very high on my own rankings. College towns in general perform well in this demographic; they’ve coped reasonably well with the recession and are good places to stay or head, at least for a while
  • Atlanta and Minneapolis: Regional talent magnets for the southeast and Great Lakes/Plains respectively.
  • Outside the U.S.: London, Toronto, Shanghai, Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane.

Key factors affecting location of young, college-educated singles
Even with signs that the worst of the Great Recession is over, young people are understandably worried about their economic future. This past May, the Wall Street Journal reported that some of the past decade’s “youth magnet” locations are losing their appeal as economic opportunities whither in cities like Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Las Vegas, and others which led the nation in attracting young college grads from 2005 to 2007. So where are young, educated, single people heading?

A recent survey lists the best places for college grads to launch their careers. New York City topped the list – despite the financial crisis – with eight in 10 survey respondents listing it as one of their top destinations. Second-place Washington, D.C. was named by 63 percent. Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and San Diego round out the top 10. And, remember, this is a list of the places that are best to find a job, not to have fun, go to great restaurants or clubs, make friends, or get lots of dates.

The list is heavy on big cities, and it’s remarkably similar to a comprehensive list my research team and I developed for my book Who’s Your City? of the best places for college-educated 20- to 29-year-olds. It also put big cities such as San Francisco, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York on top. (D.C. jumped to the top of the list when we factored affordability and cost into the mix.) College towns also did well, with Madison, WI, topping the list for medium-size regions, and Boulder, CO, taking first place for small regions. Raleigh, N.C.; Ann Arbor, MI; and New Haven, CT also score well. To get at the factors that attract and keep Gen Y in certain places, my colleague Charlotta Mellander and I analyzed the results of a Gallup survey of some 28,000 Americans.

First off, young, educated people are considerably less attached to where they live and considerably more mobile than other Americans. About a quarter (26.5 percent) of them said they were extremely satisfied with the place they currently live, compared with nearly half (47.4 percent) of all Americans. Twenty-somethings are, on average, three or four times more likely to move than 40- or 50-somethings.

Jobs are clearly important. Gen Y members ranked the availability of jobs second when asked what would keep them in their current location and fourth in terms of their overall satisfaction with their community. But it’s more than just a job. Young people today are faced with dwindling corporate commitment; job tenure has grown far shorter and people switch jobs with much greater frequency. That means picking a location which not only offers a great job but a thick labor market with abundant career opportunity, as a hedge against economic uncertainty and the risk of layoff.

But the highest-ranked factor is the ability to meet people and make friends. Young, educated people intuitively understand what economic sociologists have documented: Vibrant social networks are key to landing jobs, moving forward in your career, and one’s broader personal happiness. They not only desire a thick labor market but what I have come to call a thick mating market where they can meet new people, go out on dates, and eventually find a life partner. What do you think is more important to happiness: Finding a great job or finding the right life partner?

Where older Americans see high-quality schools and safe streets as key, Gen Y understandably ranks the availability of outstanding colleges and universities higher. Many are likely to go back to graduate school and having great programs nearby is a big plus. When it comes to their overall community satisfaction, access to open space, being in an aesthetically beautiful city, and having access to vibrant nightlife are also quite important. Affordable housing, air, and water quality, and availability of religious institutions matter too but slightly less so.

My own assessment is that finding the right place to live is among the three most important decisions of your life. Moving is an expensive and time-consuming proposition; mistakes can be costly to fix or undo.

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Mon Sep 21st 2009 at 1:49pm UTC

Future Forward

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The Center for Economic Growth and The Stakeholders present Future Forward, an event featuring Richard Florida, at the Palace Theatre in Albany, New York, on September 24, 2009. Richard will speak about Who’s Your City? and why the creative economy is making where you live one of the most important decisions of your life. A book signing and after party are also part of the evening’s festivities.

Do you feel that you live in the right city? Or is there a move in your future?

 Jeff Stone, presi...dent of Key Bank, NA, Capital Region New York District

From left to right: Richard Florida; Mayor of Albany, New York, Gerald D. Jennings; Jeff Stone, president of Key Bank, NA, Capital Region New York District; City Champion Catherine M. Hedgeman; President, Center for Economic Growth, Michael Tucker

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Fri Jun 12th 2009 at 8:52am UTC

Ryan Seacrest Plugs “Who’s Your City?” Singles Map

Friday, June 12th, 2009

On the What’s Happening section of the blog on, Richard Florida’s singles map from Who’s Your City? is front and center. Ryan Tweeted about it as well.

What do you consider the best city for singles?