“The most successful economic development policy is to attract and retain smart people and then get out of their way.” – Edward Glaeser, Harvard economist
Home to fifteen institutions of higher education and boasting one the nation’s most educated workforce’s, Lexington has a proud academic tradition (Transylvania University is the 16th oldest college in the nation). As the University of Kentucky’s enrollment tops 30,000 students for the first time (thanks to a record number of out-of-state students) – we’re excited to report that the Lexington metro has been recognized by the American Institute for Economic Research as one of the top college destinations in America.
In a ranking of small metros (MSAs with 250,000 to 1 million residents), Lexington beat out other well-known destinations like Honolulu and Tallahassee and scored top marks in categories like cost of housing and arts and leisure. Here’s the full list:
Opportunities (we got ‘em)
- $6,580 – academic research and development expenditure per student in the MSA
- 35.2% – percent of people 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the MSA
- $27,365 – median earnings for metro workers (higher than Ann Arbor, MI and Provo, UT)
Student Life (it’s good)
- 113 – number of students per 1,000 metro residents
- $717 – fair market rent of a 2-bedroom apartment
- 4.4% – percentage of workers that bike, walk, or take public transportation
Culture (it’s diverse)
- 43 – number of arts, entertainment, and recreation establishments per 100,000 people
- 3.3% – percentage of students that are foreign born
- 6.5% – percentage of workers that work in innovative fields like engineering, architecture, design, and the like
Economic Health (consistently robust)
10. 6.7% – average metro unemployment rate in 2013
11. 1.01 – annual change in share of population with college degrees
12. – 22.3% – net change in businesses per 100,000 residents from 2008-2011 (that’s actually a decrease, which follows national trends. Nashville, for example, experienced a 29.5% decrease in entrepreneurial activity during the same period).
Boom Town is straight-up crushing it, but don’t take our word for it – you can get it straight from Henry Clay himself:
– CLX Economic Development Team
Commerce Lexington Update
- SRC of Lexington, a remanufacturer of engines, drive engine components and hydraulics for industrial equipment, announced plans to create up to 50 new jobs and invest nearly $1.9 million into expansion.
- Kiplinger named Lexington the 7th most affordable big city in America.
- Kentucky ranks 8th in the U.S. for best business climate, according to Site Selection magazine’s yearly Top US Business Climate rankings.
- Global Entrepreneurship Week is November 17th through the 23rd. Click here to learn more and to view the schedule of events.