The New York Times has released an article that outlines data from City Observatory determining which cities are attracting college graduates at the highest rates. Pittsburgh sits on the list (above New York City) as attracting 29% more college graduates than it did in 2000.

Currently, the national average for the top 51 metro areas is only 25%.

Topping the list is Houston, TX, with a 50% change in the number of college graduates relocating to the area. New York City hits the average at 25%, and Cleveland brings up the bottom end with 1%. Detroit is the only city with statistics in the negatives.

Claire Cain Miller, the writer behind the article, says that this data is significant in not only identifying those cities that have a high 25-34 population, but also predicting which cities will flourish as a result.

“Even as Americans over all have become less likely to move, young, college-educated people continue to move at a high clip — about a million cross state lines each year, and these so-called young and the restless don’t tend to settle down until their mid-30s. Where they end up provides a map of the cities that have a chance to be the economic powerhouses of the future,” says Miller.

Of Pittsburgh specifically, Miller says we’re one of the cities that has “more than our share” of young college graduates, in spite of the fact that our overall population is falling.

The star of the article, however, is Denver, which saw an increase in “the young and restless” that was an impressive 47% change since 2000 (double the change in New York City). Miller contributes this to an elusive “cultural cool” that until now has been exclusively attributed to NYC.

There’s hope for Pittsburgh to attain the same status. “How many eventually desert the city centers as they age remains to be seen, but demographers predict that many will stay. They say that could not only bolster city economies, but also lead to decreases in crime and improvements in public schools. If the trends continue, places like Pittsburgh and Buffalo could develop a new reputation — as role models for resurgence,” says Miller.

You can find the full article here.

Rebekah Zook

Rebekah Zook is a Duquesne grad and all-around story-telling enthusiast. A former fellow at WESA, she worked as a production assistant for their daily talk show. Most recently, she taught in the Propel Charter School system as a visiting artist. When she isn’t writing, Rebekah is a trip leader for the local non-profit organization Venture Outdoors. You can usually find her in a bright yellow kayak.