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May 14, 2007

« Openness and Economic Growth | Main | The Impending Death of the Land-Line Phone? »

Our ranking of Best Cities (for every stage of your life) with Kiplinger's is on-line at their site.  The whole thing will be published in their June issue.   It ranks metro regions according to five life-stages: young singles, professionals (single or married but without kids), married with children, empty-nesters, and retirees. Kevin Stolarick developed the indicators and data for the rankings and built the calculator. You can also use a tool to see where your city ranks.

Read the story, and find your best city. There's also a great calculator and a webcast of me and Kiplinger Sr. Editor Robert Frick. Enjoy!


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Very interesting. I'm sure I'd get different cities if I took the quiz again because I was on the fence about several of the questions, but the I have never considered any of the recommendations it gave me because they were all in cold winter climates.
Did it just so happen that no city made the top 5 of more than one list, or was it designed that way?

Kevin Stolarick

Actually, most of the cities made the top 5 in more than one category (except for the retiree cities, which didn't do well for the other groups.) The printed version of the article shows what city also ranks well for the other categories. I'm not sure if it made it to the website or not.

Also, the website does make available all the criteria and various sorting options if you want to try looking at various criteria individually.


Kudos to the Creative Class Group for continuing to refine and develop the notion of Creative Class Cities. I especially like the break-out by life-stage. This hopefully bridges the gap between the more (allegedly) "bohemian"-oriented argument of Richard and the "family"-oriented argument of Joel Kotkin.

This new list of cities captures two related notions that both Richard and Joel have expressed:

- Richard has, I think, said of large urban regions like Chicagoland: That they offer "something for everybody": from funky bohemian neighborhoods to family-friendly subdivisions for 30- and 40-something professionals. In other words, "size matters".

- Joel has, in reference to creative class 20-somethings who move to suburban areas when they settle down & have families, and the tendency of their consumption patters following them: "You don't cut off your taste buds when you move to the 'burbs". So you can get interesting Indian food whether you're in Chantilly or Georgetown.

My wife and I made a similar move from inner-suburban DC to exurban Columbia, SC, and we have adjusted and enjoyed the move. Our move, I think, reflects the advice I would give to someone wanting to flee a high-cost but creative city/area but still hold onto something similar when starting a family: move to a nice suburban area near a college town. Small cities & towns home to flagship state universities with major research activities can really help. You can live on the exurban fringe in a good sized newer house, and still be within, say 30 minutes of a nice urban core with a majority of the amenities you would fine in a larger city. Living in, say, suburban Austin or Madison sounds like a pretty nice life to me.


Thanks. I didn't see that information on the website slideshow but will check out the print version. It could be helpful in some policy discussions we're having in Austin--the criteria table definitely will be.

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