In the past, DC has been known as many things, but “cool” was never one of them. Forbes.com recently listed Washington, DC as the second coolest city in America behind Houston.
Finally, something good has actually come out of the recession. While the rest of the country went awry with job loss, bankruptcy and housing meltdowns the Nation’s Capitol hunkered down next to the security rock that is known as the Federal Government and enjoyed a relatively stable unemployment rate, an influx of young professionals and a rise of diverse eateries, clubs and bars.
Bethesda ranked 14th while Baltimore ranked 17th.
We attempted to quantify ‘coolness’ for the 65 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions (areas that include cities and their surrounding suburbs as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget) based on seven data points we weighted evenly. Sperling’s Best Places helped us calculate the number of entertainment options per capita with an Arts & Culture Index (100 is the best score); recreational opportunities, including the amount of green space, quality of outdoor activities available, and the number of pro and college sports teams (again, (100 is the best score); and number of restaurants and bars per capita, with a focus on local eateries. We also looked at each city’s cultural composition using Sperling’s Diversity Index (100 is the best). We included median age, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, favoring places with a large young adult population. Lastly, we looked at net migration for 2011 and unemployment rates, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Moody’s Analytics.
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