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The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth

An analysis comparing measures of tolerance, diversity, and high-technology success in 50 metropolitan areas found:

"People in technology businesses are drawn to places known for diversity of thought and open-mindedness.

The leading indicator of a metro- politan area's high-technology success is a large gay population. The five metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of gay residents are all among the nation's top 15 high-technology areas: San Francisco, Washington D.C., Austin, Atlanta, and San Diego. Gays not only predict the concentration of high-tech industry, they are also a predictor of its growth.

A high concentration of artists or "bohemians" follows gays as a significant indicator of a metropol- itan area's high-technology success. Ten of the top 15 "bohemian" metro- politan areas (those with the highest concentration of artists, writers, musi- cians, actors, etc.) also number among the nation's top 15 technology regions. These areas include: Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Boston.

Metropolitan areas with high concentrations of foreign-born residents also rank high as technology centers. Eight out of the top ten metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of foreign-born residents were also among the nation's top 15 high-technology regions: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Houston, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Overall diversity is a strong indicator of a metropolitan area's high-technology success. Eleven metropolitan areas with the highest levels of overall diversity (based on gays, bohemians and foreign-born people) are among the top 15 high technology areas. San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and Washington D.C. are the top four high-tech regions and rank in the top six regions on the composite diversity index. The composite diversity index also strongly predicts high-tech growth.

This report is quite large (521kb), but it is available on-line from The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth -- from The Brookings Institute website. It is also available from RaceMatters.org which loads fast if you are working with a CD. The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth -- from the RaceMatters.org CD. (To load the large .pdf files from the CD, you must be using this webpage from the CD. To do that, edit the URL line in your browser to use the CD. For example, d:\racematters\importdiversityhitechgrow.htm ).

THE CENTER ON URBAN & METROPOLITAN POLICY
The Brookings Institution
Washington, DC
JUNE 2001 - THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION - SURVEY SERIES
Technology and Tolerance:
The Importance of Diversity to High-Technology Growth
Richard Florida, Carnegie Mellon University, and Gary Gates, The Urban Institute

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