We just released our first CityReport looking at the “Young and Restless,” detailing where young talent is going in the U.S.- and why it matters. (Download the report here.) Here we show how the nation’s largest cities do with this important demographic.
The Young and Restless–25 to 34 year-olds with a 4-year degree or higher–play a critical role driving local economic development. “The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way,” Edward Glaeser, Harvard economist, recently told the New York Times.
So how is your metro doing? Our data show how the nation’s largest metro’s are performing in three dimensions:
1. How well educated are your young adults?
2. How large is the Young and Restless cohort in your city?
3. How well are your urban core neighborhoods doing in attracting young adults?
The interactive data presented below provides the answers to all these questions. The first tab shows the four-year attainment rate of 25 to 34 year-olds in each of the nation’s 51 largest metro areas (those with one million or more in population). You can sort by columns to see the differences among the metros. For example, Boston, Washington D.C., and San Francisco have the highest rates of college attainment in both 2000 and 2012, but Riverside, Buffalo, LA and Pittsburgh all had the greatest change in educational attainment over the time period.
The Young and Restless make up a much larger fraction of the adult population and workforce in some cities than in others. The second tab shows the percentage of the adult population between 25 and 34 years of age with a four-year or higher degree, which is a good indicator of the economic impact of this group in your metro area. Washington D.C., Boston, and San Francisco top the 2012 list, as expected, but up and coming cities like Austin, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle make the top 10.
Our third tab drills down to the city center and looks at how well urban core neighborhoods attracting young adults. Over the last several decades, well-educated young adults have become increasingly likely to locate in the urban cores of cities–those places within 3 miles of the center of each metropolitan area’s primary central business district. It has also been clear that much of this migration has been by young people. So how many of these talented young adults are moving to urban cores—and where are they going? The number of young adults in the core shows how strong the ‘critical mass’ of young adults is—and overall measures how well the core itself is doing. Some cities like St. Louis and Miami have more than doubled the number of these talented young adults in their urban cores in just the last decade, with L.A., Baltimore and San Diego very close to doing the same.
Finally, the fourth tab presents a map showing for each metro area, the number of 25 to 34 year olds with a 4-year degree or more living in close-in neighborhoods in 2010, as the percentage increase from 2000-2010. (Hover over any city to see how well it did in attracting talented young adults!)
So what does this all mean? We know that talented young workers are a strong indicator of strong urban economies. Because young workers are highly mobile, and become less so as they age, attracting young workers today is one key to increasing metro educational attainment. To see more information on how talent drives development, see our Talent & Prosperity card deck.