By Katie Terpstra

Last month, we discussed author Richard Florida’s theory that creativity is the driving force behind economic growth and that “cities should stop worrying about attracting companies and start worrying about attracting members of this class.” This article has generated some feedback and as a follow-up we wanted to share with you what Mr. Florida refers to as the Creativity Index.

Mr. Florida created this index in order to measure a city’s ability to both attract the creative class and “to translate that underlying advantage into creative economic outcomes in the form of new ideas, new high-tech businesses and regional growth.” His Creativity Index looks at four equally weighted factors: the creative class share of the workforce, high tech industry, innovation, and diversity.

Below are his rankings of the top ten “creative” cities in the United States, grouped into three size categories.

Large Cities Creativity Rankings

Populations of 1 million or more

1. San Francisco

2. Austin

3. San Diego

4. Boston

5. Seattle

6. Chapel Hill

7. Houston

8. Washington

9. New York

10. Dallas

10. Minneapolis

Medium-Size Cities Creativity Rankings

Populations of 500,000 to 1 million

1. Albuquerque

2. Albany, NY

3. Tucson, AZ

4. Allentown, PA

5. Dayton, OH

6. Colorado Springs

7. Harrisburg, PA

8. Little Rock, AR

9. Birmingham, AL

10. Tulsa, OK

Small-Size Cities Creativity Rankings

Populations of 250,000 to 500,000

1. Madison, WI

2. Des Moines, IA

3. Santa Barbara, CA

4. Melbourne, FL

5. Boise City, ID

6. Huntsville, AL

7. Lansing, MI

8. Binghamton, NY

9. Lexington, KY

10. New London, CT

For further information, go to