See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Ranking Detroit 

Author Richard Florida ranks cities according to four indexes he devised: creative class (the percentage of creative class members in the workforce); high tech (the state of the high-tech industry); innovation (the number of patents per capita) and diversity (a rating that relies heavily on the city’s tolerance for gays and lesbians). The four indexes are then combined for an overall rating, dubbed the creativity index.


Here’s how metro Detroit fares:

Creativity index ranking, based on 49 regions of more than 1 million people: 39th

Creativity index ranking, based on 268 regions of all sizes: 68th


Rankings on the four indexes among regions of all sizes:

Creative class: 42nd
High tech: 147th
Innovation: 27th
Diversity: 150th


Some regions that ranked higher than Detroit in the creativity index (among regions of more than 1 million people):

Indianapolis: 20th
Columbus: 24th
Kansas City: 25th
Cincinnati: 33rd
Pittsburgh: 36th
Jacksonville: 37th


The Top Ten in the creativity index (among regions of more than 1 million people):

1) San Francisco
2) Austin
3) San Diego and Boston (tie)
5) Seattle
6) Raleigh-Durham
7) Houston
8) Washington-Baltimore
9) New York
10) Dallas


Check out these additional stories:

Hipster economics
How the cool collective and business leaders hope to build a better Detroit.

Does civic creativity pay?
A profile of Richard Florida and his book.

Funding the arts
Detroit's arts spending doesn't measure up to other cities.

Sarah Klein is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail her at

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