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Forbes' 19 Opportunity Cities: Columbus, Ohio Number 1
Columbus, Ohio, was supposed to be just a temporary stop in 2006 on the way East for Josh and Niki Quinn, a place to save money and plan their new business. After years of living in Los Angeles, where they launched the wholesale wallets and accessories brand Maxine Dear, the couple had decided to open a retail shop, either in Philly or New York.
A few months into their Columbus camp-out, they decided to stay put. “As we started comparing Columbus and what it had to offer with the other cities, especially when cost got factored into it, we saw that we would be able to do something right away, and on a larger scale than we would in other cities on the East Coast,” says Josh Quinn.
Behind the numbers
To find these Opportunity Cities, we scanned first for places with inexpensive home prices, using Sperling’s analysis of median home sales from from the first quarter of 2014, looking at all cities with a population over 150,000. Despite reports to the contrary, home ownership is still a goal for most Americans (even Millennials), and so we focused on places where that goal is more attainable. (Though not used for our ranking, rents in these cities are generally affordable as well.) Next, we looked at recent unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also factoring in their direction year-over-year. Finally, using data from the Census’ American Community Survey from 2008 to 2012 (the most recent available), we factored in population growth overall, as well as among the 25-39-year-old cohort, a group we consider likely to move (or for that matter, stay put) for opportunities.
In the News
Students from throughout the world, especially from China, continue to flock to U.S. colleges and universities in record numbers, and Ohio schools are no exception. In the Institute of International Education’s annual “Open Doors” report released today, Ohio ranks eighth among states for the number of international students hosted in the 2014-15 school year.
Columbus can lay claim to having not only the Midwest’s best wage growth, but also the top employment growth.
Several weeks after being recognized for a national-best 6.2 percent hourly earnings spike from June 2014 to June 2015, Columbus has proven to be the region’s top jobs creator over a slightly different time span, from July 2014 to July 2015.
Eleven Ohio universities are among the top 1,000 in the world, according to The Center for World University Rankings.
The universities and their rank are: Ohio State University (49), Case Western Reserve University (105), University of Cincinnati (157), Miami University (444), University of Dayton (445), Ohio University (460), University of Akron (543), Kent State University (571), University of Toledo (592), Bowling Green State University (809) and Wright State University (833).