Cities and Educated Elites
By Arnold Kling
Today, a demographic realignment that may prove just as significant is under way: the mass relocation of highly skilled, highly educated, and highly paid Americans to a relatively small number of metropolitan regions, and a corresponding exodus of the traditional lower and middle classes from these same places. Such geographic sorting of people by economic potential, on this scale, is unprecedented. I call it the “means migration.”
This is an article where the prose and the statistics do not match. The term “migration” would suggest that the number of college-educated people is declining in many areas and increasing in the major cities. Instead, what the data mainly show is a broad-based increase in college-educated people. Perhaps the increase has been slightly larger in some major metros than elsewhere, but even after some intense torturing of the data by Mr. Florida, the confession of this increase in concentration of educated elites is rather faint.
Richard Florida is a media star. I tend to distrust media stars in social science. When they pile heavy prose onto flimsy statistical foundations, I distrust them even more.