Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Perhaps contrary to the belief of some, the creative class thrives in most rural counties; map shows details

Creative class share in U.S. counties (CityLab map by David Montgomery)
In the sixth part of a series that explores the myths and realities of America's urban-rural divide, CityLab examines the rural creative class: people who work within the arts, design and media, and/or people who draw on complex knowledge of topics to solve problems. About 10 percent (2.6 million) of them live in rural areas, Richard Florida reports. The population as a whole is about 15 percent rural.

When counties are broken down into large, medium and small categories of urban counties, rural counties adjacent to a metro county, and rural counties not adjacent to a metro county, and workforce patterns are analyzed, some interesting patterns emerge, reports Florida, an economist and social scientist who heads the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.

"The most striking thing to jump out from the data is that there is not as much variation in the share of the creative class across urban and rural places as you might think. The creative class makes up roughly 30 percent of the workforce across all counties. Indeed, the creative class makes up almost the same share of the workforce in small rural counties that are not adjacent to metro areas as it does in urban counties in medium-sized metros. This may reflect the fact that certain professions like doctors and teachers are over-represented in small, isolated rural counties."

Compared to other rural areas, the most remote rural areas have an outsized share of creative class workers, most likely because they tend to be home to knowledge institutions or labs, like Los Alamos County, New Mexico, which is home to Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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