Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Creative Classing

The recent news that The Atlantic Cities online magazine had recognized HoCo as one of top ten counties in the country for concentration of the creative classes whetted my curiosity to learn more about what that actually means. The term “ creative classes” has been popularized by Richard Florida’s book “The Rise of the Creative Classes” eight years ago. 

“The economic need for creativity has registered itself in the rise of a new class, which I call the Creative Class. Some 38 million Americans, 30 percent of all employed people, belong to this new class. I define the core of the Creative Class to include people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content. Around the core, the Creative Class also includes a broader group of creative professionals in business and finance, law, health care and related fields.”

That’s a pretty big class.

Richard Florida is a senior editor of The Atlantic, the parent publication of The Atlantic Cities, so it comes as no shock that it focuses so much energy on identifying creative class areas of the country. In addition to ranking the counties, they ranked creative class states of which Maryland is number 3, behind the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. I suppose it’s nice that we beat Virginia at something. Squeezing even more juice out this topic, the magazine also ranked creative class metro areas. In this list Maryland got lumped together with DC, Virginia and West Virginia for a third place ranking.

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