The methodology was pretty simple. The researchers started with America's 50 most populated metropolitan areas based on 2015 estimates from US Census. Those cities, BTW, contain over half of the US population.
The study looked at four key metrics:
- The number of "creative" jobs: photographers, designers, actors, musicians, writers, etc.
- The number of educational establishments that concentrate primarily on the "arts".
- The number of performing arts companies that employ actors, dancers, musicians, etc.
- The number of businesses that are engaged in the production, distribution and exhibition of film and television.
The result was a "creative profile" of all 50 areas. The researchers then created an infographic (reproduced below) ranking the top 25.
Not surprisingly, New York City ranked at the top with the three largest West Coast metropolitan areas (San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles) filling out the top four.
Curiously, Minneapolis, Portland, St. Louis and Austin all ranked higher than famously-artsy Boston, while Milwaukee (WTF?) and Washington DC came out ahead of Chicago, America's so-called "second city."
Even some cities I suspect most folk think of cultural backwaters, like Kansas City and Buffalo, made it into the top 25. Notably absent are Detroit and any cities in Ohio or Pennsylvania, the sixth and seventh most populated states respectively.