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Columbus Named one of America’s Next Boom Towns

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus Named one of America’s Next Boom TownsPhoto by Lauren Garms.
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Forbes contributor Joel Kotkin published an article on Thursday, highlighting the country’s top metro areas for continued growth over the next decade. Columbus landed at 14th place on the list, and was the the only midwest metro other than Minneapolis to be recognized.

The metrics used to determine the rankings weighed the cities based upon birth rates, domestic migration, education levels, income growth, unemployment rates, population growth and percentage of children in the current population.

Kotkin said that the results revealed that the top cities fell into two categories — those driven by the tech sector and rising incomes, and those driven by diverse industries and low cost of living. Columbus likely straddles the line between both, as Columbus had the highest level of wage growth in the US in 2015, was ranked #1 for Cost of Living in 2015 by the Council for Community & Economic Research, and was named by Kotkin himself in 2011 as the #3 US city for tech-sector jobs.

According to the new study, Columbus clocks in with a 10.8 percent job growth rate from 2010 to 2015, and a population growth of nearly five percent over the past four years. Of the nearly two million people in the region, 40.7 percent of the core workforce age holds bachelor’s degrees, and 13.5 percent of the population is made of of children aged five to 14.

Kotkin, who operates urban analysis blog NewGeography.com and often writes in support of suburban-centric planning models, was quick to point out that New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are not in the list of Boom Towns. Austin topped the list in first place.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE to visit www.forbes.com.

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  • tdrice

    Well hopefully they will fix the roads in this city. Recovering the roads aren’t going to fix the infrastructure of this city. They need to widen the roads, eliminate left lane exits, and a bunch of other improvements.

  • Actually, I would argue that the last thing we need is to widen the roads. We really need a road diet and in the neighborhoods where that is happening, things continue to thrive.

  • somebuckeye

    Is it just me or is Austin always at the top of every “best of” cities list?


    “Kotkin, who operates urban analysis blog NewGeography.com and often writes in support of suburban-centric planning models, was quick to point out that New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are not in the list of Boom Towns. Austin topped the list in first place.”

    If you are expecting to see New York City or Chicago in a list of current boom towns, I think maybe you don’t have very strong grasp of the definition of the term.

    • I don’t think anyone was expecting those on the list. Just thought it was noteworthy (and eye roll worthy) for Kotkin to point out. I follow New Geography on a regular basis, and while they produce a lot of interesting articles and studies, they have a very heavy had with bashing smart growth, growth in the cores of urban cities, and anything related to trends of urban flight and suburban decline.

      • Their latest is on the death, supposedly, of megacities, and how it would be so much better for the environment if all those people were spread out. I couldn’t help thinking of the irony of that statement. Such spreading out would actually do the opposite, and says nothing about the actual cost of maintaining all the infrastructure to nowhere. Kotkin is basically the epitome of suburban fetishism.

  • JMan

    Great, welcome and beautiful news. Now let’s start acting like it.

  • lazyfish

    how does one act like a boom city? swagger is so like the last 16 years, or is boom onomatopoeia for tearing down more historic buildings, cause we’re pretty good at that all ready.

    Columbus is # 1 in caring about what some magazine says about us


  • Discouraged Democrat

    This story about metro areas not about central cities. The only boom going on in many City of Columbus neighborhoods is the sound of gunfire. (See today’s Dispatch.)

    • CbusBooster

      Seriously? While Columbus has, like any city too much violence, crime, and poverty, the truth is that our city has LESS than its fair share by any measure. So no, we are not suffering any epidemic in that regard. While one death is too many, to bring it up in reaction to an article comparing cities is alarmist, misleading and just plain inaccurate.

  • Discouraged Democrat

    Yes, really. Stop boosting and start thinking. Crime and poverty rates in central Columbus are just as bad as in similarly-sized “landlocked” cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati. Because Columbus has annexed so much “suburban” territory, our citywide figures are somewhat diluted.

    I brought this up because I have observed that CU tends to post pro-Columbus materials while ignoring the very serious problems and scandals. The Dispatch ran a story this week that [now that the election is over] Mayor Ginther is acknowledging that many city neighborhoods are in deep, deep trouble. He couldn’t do that before the election because his ally, Mike Coleman, presided over their rapid decline over the past 16 years.


    Another example of CU bias is that while you’ll find a fluff item entitled “Thank you, Mayor Mike”, you won’t find an item about the very serious legal challenges facing the Democrat endorsed for County Commissioner. That’s substantive news, but it doesn’t promote the quasi-fascist city hall machine.

  • raclapp

    Columbus Ohio has to get over two main issues first: Age discrimination is rampant. Second in the suburbs, most are in denial about the low income and housing for them. If people can’t live there, most won’t travel to work the jobs that make the rest possible. Marysville, for example, is badly out of touch. Many jobs paying under $15 are going empty because there is no low cost housing available to them in the area. This has been a growing problem for a few years now. Other suburbs are in the same denial. Can’t BOOM without a good base to build upon. It is those invisible support jobs that will kill it for Columbus. Columbus has a lot of cleaning to do, before it can boom.

    • “Age discrimination is rampant.”

      Can you explain further what you mean?

  • raclapp

    Here or on private email? I will happily name names, but that will be in private. raclapp at Yahoo

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