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July 23, 2008

Richard Florida

Young and Professional

« Shiny Happy Jobs | Main | Happy Jobs, American-style »

According to these Forbes rankings, the Texas Triangle of Houston, Dallas and Austin score 1, 2 and 3,  Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Charlotte, and San Francisco all scored in the top 10. Take that NY, LA, Chicago, Boston and DC. My hunch is Forbes is giving way too much weight to "cost of living" in an era of front-loaded careers.  Their rankings of best cities for young professionals make a bit more intuitive sense. San Francisco took the top spot, followed by Minneapolis, Houston, New York and Boston. Washngton DC (which to my mind is a fine bet for young professionals as well as recent college grads) came in 9th.  One of the assignments in my economic development course ais to deconstruct Forbes' rankings of the best cities for business. Guess what their next assignment might be? (pointer via CEOs for Cities).


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Why is there always the assumption that recent college grads are looking for the cheapest cities (which, not so coincidentally, also tend to be the least interesting)? Most of the twentysomethings I know (myself included) are less worried about the cost of living. We don't have dependents, we don't have major financial commitments, and we're experiencing the heady jolt of making $30K+ a year for the first time in our lives.

What recent college grads, exactly, are the Forbes people talking about here?


"What recent college grads, exactly, are the Forbes people talking about here?"

Maybe college graduates who share Forbes' corporatist mindset, as opposed to Dr. Florida's creative class perspective. And as for "no financial commitments"-- what percentage of young college grads are coming out to face repaying their student loans? I think it's substantial.

Finally, I'm a little tired of people who throw rocks at Dallas and Houston, in most case without having spent any substantial time there. Houston in particular has long been one of the US' most diverse cities, particularly ethnically, and Dallas has grown a lot more diverse in the last quarter-century.


Cyrano - I'm a big Houston fan. In the original version of Rise, I went to great lengths to point out that three Texas metros - Austin, Dallas and Houston - made the top ten among large metros (population over 1 million) on the Creativity Index. Still, I have a hard time believing that they number 1, 2, 3 of the top ten cities for young college grads in the country, top 20, top 10, sure I can go for that, but 1-2-3 seems like too much weight on cost factors to me. I'd have to say that in an era of front-loader careers where establishing networks and relationships and a salary floor are key, as well as meeting potential mates, NYC, DC, San Fran, LA, Chicago and a few other place are stiff competition for recent college grads.

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