College Grads Move to Big Cities

There are many different reasons why college graduates move to larger cities and the main reason is for money. These graduates are looking for high paying jobs and are driving up the housing costs in these cities. It is also creating a problem for cities that don’t attract these educated people. The article refers to, “the largest predictor of economic well-being in cities is the percent of college graduates.” Graduates bring in and spend money to further help the city. The problem starts with cities not offering the higher paying jobs for the educated; therefore, driving graduates away.


rico said...

Hopefully someone important from Cedar City will read this. Many people graduate from SUU, but how many can actually afford to stay and work here? If the city doesn't do something, SUU will just keep producing graduates for other cities.

Dr. Tufte said...

I think there is a correlation and causation distinction here that is poorly addressed: are cities rich because they attract college graduates, or are college graduates attracted to rich cities?

I tend to doubt that cities are rich because they attract graduates. There are places with plenty of college graduates that are great, but are not necessarily flourishing; for example, Huntsville, Oak Ridge, Wichita, and for much of the 20th century Provo. There are also places that flourish without lots of college graduates, like Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami.

If you look closely at the chart in the article, there are no places that had lots of college graduates in 1970 that can be clearly associated with being richer in 2004. It's more of a stretch to look at high school graduates, but again in 1970 there isn't a pattern between places with more of them and whether or not they were rich a generation later.