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Census Results show Brains in high-tech cities

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The first in depth census figures since the recession began in 2007 have shown some interesting results on migration. The figures show that the ‘Brains’ are moving to the high-tech cities. Parts of California, North Carolina and Texas are drawing in the young ‘brainiacs’

The data covering 2006-2008 has been analyzed by William Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution. Frey says that “During this economic downturn, young, educated professionals are heading for the high-tech ‘cool’ metros rather than the fast growing upstarts of the mid-decade,"

It seems the promise of specialized high-tech jobs and life-style are attracting young people who have at least a college degree. Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore; Seattle, and the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina are among these.

Houston with its medical centers and proximity to NASA and San Francisco with its biotech industry have drawn in those with advanced degrees.

Other cities have shown a decline or at least slower growth in the educated sector. These cities, which include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., as well as New Orleans, Detroit and Cleveland, are noted to have increasing unemployment rates and less opportunity for high-tech jobs. Frey comments "The investment in knowledge industries and young professional amenities in places like Austin, Raleigh and Seattle is now paying off."

Interestingly, cities that had higher education levels did not necessarily come out as those with the highest income levels. Frey attributes this to the migration of the younger educated people who have not yet reached their peak income levels.

Large jumps in residents with particularly high-income levels included Bakersfield, Calif., Phoenix and Las Vegas. Austin, Seattle and Charlotte saw big gains in residents earning over $65,000. The top five metro areas with the largest gains in residents earning $65,000 and more were Phoenix, Riverside, Calif., Dallas, Las Vegas and Houston.

On the whole it was found that America is becoming more educated. According to the data one in four Americans now has a college degree. States and cities are attempting to stay competitive by attracting well-educated and higher income residents. Many new graduates are searching for employment in the depressed economy.

Many people are seeing the value in the results coming through from this on-going census as opposed to the more traditional 10-year census. Results and analyses can be found on the Census Bureau website.

A few results that have come through recently include:

Miami tops the U.S. in foreign-born residents. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area ranks first in foreign-born citizens with 36.9 percent. Altoona, Pa., ranks last with just 0.9 percent

San Jose, Calif., boasts the highest median home values – $739,700 – while Odessa, Texas ranks last with $68,200. California dominates the country in this category.

New Yorkers have the longest commute to work, checking in at 34.5 minutes, followed closely by Washington, D.C., at 33.2 minutes.

Residents in Grand Forks, N.D., have the shortest commute and live in the only metro area with an average commute time under 15 minutes.




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  1. ravi says:
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