Indy a diamond in the rough

September 8, 2008
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Just about every young, college-educated Midwesterner has given up hope and moved to the South or West, right? A story that appeared in IBJ over the weekend suggests otherwise.

The Indianapolis area leads nearly all other large Midwestern cities in the share of residents who are young and educatedâ??making the region, in a small way, a Seattle of the Rust Belt.

Reporter J.K. Wallâ??s story was based on new IUPUI research that compares densities of different types of people, from the young, single, educated city dwellers dubbed Solo Acts to wealthy High Society households.

Indianapolis scored particularly well among a group called Family Portraits, who are young, affluent and well-educated, with children.

The findings might help explain why the Indianapolis-area economy has grown steadily for years even as other Midwestern cities take hits.

Indianapolis could be expected to have a bright future if these people start businesses and help existing companies thrive.

The next step for researcher Drew Klacik is to find out what they want in order to make the region even more attractive, particularly for the category where Indianapolis scores so strongly â?? educated people with children.

A couple of questions.

Are the experts correct in their belief that the young and educated are the most attractive demographic for economic development?

And what do young, educated people with children want that the region doesnâ??t currently offer? In some cases, that would be good schools. But what else?
  • I, for one, looked for neighborhood safety, Job opportunity, low taxes, and commute. I don't want to spend as much time in my car as I do with family, friends. With Gas prices, Worries of Mortgages, and lack of high paying jobs, I would like to see more jobs in the city.
  • People who diss on Indy usually have not lived elsewhere. Sure we have our problems, but Indy is very affordable and has a lot to offer.
  • I agree with Indyman.......I for one have lived in the Detroit area, Cleveland and DC.........compared to all 3 Indianapolis is much more affordable and interesting (aside from perhaps DC). Indianapolis seems to be in constant change mode where the past 3 cities I've lived in were dealing with extreme job losses and or high housing costs. The people I see complaing the most about naptown are locals who have never bothered taking advantage of what the area has to offer.......
  • This is the creative class - they look for new economy jobs, or more precicely, new economy employers look for them. guess what? they aren't hanging around in Indy with the Family Portraits, High Hopes, or Factories & Farms demographics.

    We can continue to cater to the demographic groups that already value Indy, or work to make Indy desirable to the demographic groups that will drive Indy's economy to the next level.

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