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Next Boom Town in the U.S., Chicago Ranks Poorly

by Chicago Agent

Chicago will not be the next boom town in the U.S., according to recently released data from New Geography.


The windy city ranked 47th among the 52 metropolitan areas, with populations exceeding one million, which were compared – causing Illinois to be greatly overshadowed by Texas, which claimed the majority of the higher rankings.

Austin, Texas came in first place in accordance with data of past, present and future vitality.

Important factors to determining the next boom town included: job growth over the past decade as well as the past two years, demographic factors, and a “broad measurement of attractiveness to immigrants — as places to settle, make money and start businesses.”

It seems that Texas has been somewhat immune to the struggles of various other states, with over 83,000 new jobs and low housing prices throughout the state.

Austin and second place nominee-Raleigh, North Carolina were determined to have ideal demographic situations, with “high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children. They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation,” said the report.

The report calls Chicago (as well as Boston and Seattle) an “old immigrant hub,” which has now become overshadowed by the ever-evolving Texas cities. Houston also boasts a “strategically located airport,” which seems to put Midway and O’Hare to shame, and Dallas is called “the ideal place for corporate relocations.”

Other contenders, such as Orlando, Florida (10th place) and ninth place holder Phoenix, Arizona also boasted warm weather in addition to other desirable qualities. While many Chicago locals have adjusted to, and may even look forward to, our blustery and frigid winters, this may have counted against the appeal of the city we call home.

Somewhat surprisingly, Los Angeles is tied with Chicago at 47th, and San Francisco is at 42nd, with the data leaning toward limitation in job creation and aging demographics.

“What is clear is that well-established patterns of job creation and vital demographics will drive future regional growth, not only in the next year, but over the coming decade. People create economies and they tend to vote with their feet when they choose to locate their families as well as their businesses,” said New Geography.

“This will prove more decisive in shaping future growth than the hip imagery and big city-oriented PR flackery that dominate media coverage of America’s changing regions,” the article said in closing.

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