Friday, 02 August 2013 16:46

Raleigh ranks among America's most 'aspirational' cities

Thompson Wall
Triangle Business Journal - Original 

Raleigh ranks among the nation’s most “aspirational cities,” according to an analysis for The Daily Beast, which calls such cities “magnets of opportunity.”

The analysis defines aspirational cities as having vibrant economies and appealing quality of life and demographic trends. The ranking gives a 50 percent weighting to the city’s economic indicators, 25 percent to quality-of-life considerations and 25 percent to demographics. Raleigh ranked No. 5 on the list, and Charlotte placed No. 14.

According to the analysis, the Raleigh area’s economy has been driven by rapidly expanding high-tech and professional-services jobs that contribute to a high per-capita income, which beats the national average by more than $2,000.

Raleigh ranked No. 2 in the “demographic density” category due to the city’s 7.2 percent growth of foreign-born, domestic and college-educated migration. The analysis says high-scoring cities like Raleigh were “economically vibrant but not prohibitively expensive.”

Raleigh also earned praised for its quality of life, with the analysis citing a small margin between the affordability of housing and household incomes.

Austin claimed the No. 1 spot, largely due Texas’ wildly successful job creation in the post-recession climate and large increases in domestic migration. New York City placed No. 46, and Los Angeles came in last place at No. 51.

The analysis was done by Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, and Wendell Cox, principal at Demographia, a consulting firm.