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Archive for Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lawrence lands No. 9 spot in ranking of top 10 college communities

September 8, 2010

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It is the type of ranking some athletic teams in the city would drool over these days: Lawrence is a top 10 college community.

The city’s low unemployment, its high number of youthful students and its growing ranks of highly educated residents helped Lawrence land at No. 9 on a new ranking of college destinations from the American Institute for Economic Research. The ranking is up from 14th a year earlier.

“It is a great reflection of the total community that people in Lawrence know about, but that isn’t as well known in other parts of the country,” said Tom Kern, president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. “These type of rankings really help expand our reputation outside of the state of Kansas.”

The Massachusetts-based nonprofit ranks the 222 metro areas that have more than 15,000 college students. The organization ranks cities based on population size. Lawrence ranked ninth among the 46 cities with fewer than 250,000 people.

Smartest in state

While Lawrence isn’t one of the top 20 brainiest cities in the country, it is the smartest one in the state. Last week, the online news site The Daily Beast listed what it considered to be the smartest cities based on share of adults holding doctoral, master’s or professional degrees and the share of the work force comprised of computer scientists, mathematicians and physical, biological and social scientists.

Lawrence was among the top 10 cities in the country for adults holding a higher education degree; however, it didn’t rank quite as well for workers who are employed as mathematicians and scientists.

The report, though, did show Lawrence ranked low on a pair of key economic categories. Lawrence ranked 14th out of 20 for earning potential, and 12th out of 20 for the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the community.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers and how Lawrence compared to other communities.

• The Top 10: 1. Ithaca, N.Y.; 2. State College, Pa.; 3. Iowa City; 4. Ames, Iowa; 5. Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; 6. Charlottesville, Va.; 7. Corvallis, Ore.; 8. Bloomington, Ind.; 9. Lawrence; 10. Logan, Utah.

• Flocks of students: Lawrence ranked third in terms of student density, with 260 students per every 1,000 people in the city. The study’s authors said high student density is good because it gives a city a youthful feel. Other cities in the top five: Ithaca, Ames, College Station, Texas and State College.

• Diversity measure: Lawrence ranked 11th out of 20 in terms of the number of students with foreign passports, at 7 percent. The top five: Ithaca, 14 percent; Lafayette, Ind., 14 percent; Champaign-Urbana,13 percent; Logan, 13 percent; and Ames, 11 percent.

• Research money: Lawrence was 11th in terms of per capita research expenditures, with $1,883 in R&D spending per person. The top five: Ithaca, $6,481; State College, $4,843; College Station, $3,126; Ames, $2,586; Blacksburg, Va., $2,351.

• Arts and leisure: Lawrence also was 11th in terms of the number businesses per capita that are in the arts, entertainment or recreation category. The top five: Flagstaff, Ariz.; Burlington, Vt.; Ithaca; Charlottesville; Fargo, N.D.

• Bus and bike: The city was 11th again in terms of the percent of workers who either rode the bus, walked or biked to work, at 9.6 percent. The top five: Ithaca, 25 percent; Iowa City, 18 percent; Ames, 18 percent; State College, 16 percent; Champaign-Urbana, 16 percent.

• Rent: When it comes to the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment, Lawrence was 11th, at $741 per month. The top five: Morgantown, W. Va.; $605; Fargo, $628; Columbia, Mo., $637; Logan, $663; Bloomington, $677.

• Money making: Lawrence dropped all the way to 14th in the per capita income ranking. Lawrence was at $31,443. The top five: Charlottesville, $43,344; Burlington, $41,139; Fargo, $39,812; Bloomington, Ill. $38,865; Iowa City, $38,273.

• Business makers: The city scored 12th in a category that measures number of new businesses created per capita. The top five: Logan; Flagstaff; Iowa City; Fargo; Charlottesville.

• Jobs: Lawrence had the sixth lowest average unemployment rate, at 5.5 percent. The top five: Iowa City, 4.2 percent; Ames, 4.4 percent; Fargo, 4.4 percent; Logan, 4.9 percent; Morgantown, 5.1 percent.

• Brain gain: Lawrence had the sixth highest growth rate of residents who have at least a bachelor’s degree. The top five: Logan, Bloomington, Ind.; Bloomington, Ill.; Corvallis; Iowa City.

• Notables: Several other Big 12 cities were ranked. Boulder, Colo., was ranked No. 1 in the small cities category of 250,000 to 1 million people. Lincoln, Neb., was 13th in the same category. Austin, Texas, was No. 2 in the midsize metro category. Oklahoma City, which includes Norman, was 20th in that category. Columbia, Mo., was ranked 13th in the category of cities under 250,000.

Comments

ronwell_dobbs 4 years, 3 months ago

Not seeing Columbia MO up there... Perhaps they took into account your tendency to kill your neighbors in the next State and your hopped-up klan membership.

Oh yeah, and your sister-love.

Chad Lawhorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Madison is No. 6 in the 250,000 to 1 million population category. In other words, Madison is not in the same category that Lawrence is in.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

It would be helpful to know the criteria they used.

According to some rankings (Kiplinger's, I think), Topeka is an excellent place to live.

peter56321 4 years, 3 months ago

To be considered, a town needed to have at least 15,000 students. Washburn has fewer than 8,000.

Daniel Kennamore 4 years, 3 months ago

That's like saying Lawrence has a low homeless rate because it has NO residents.

You fail

slowplay 4 years, 3 months ago

Just because no one will hire you, doesn't mean there are no employers.

justoneperson 4 years, 3 months ago

How is the number of students with foreign passports an adequate measure of diversity?

Viking2 4 years, 3 months ago

Defining and measuring the diversity of university's student population is difficult. If diversity is defined as the number of international students, counting passports would be a reasonable method.

I have not read the article.

justoneperson 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, even so, how would the number of international students be a complete definition of diversity?

dubstep 4 years, 3 months ago

Notice the quasi-liminal references to a development-oriented agenda? How badly we need to create jobs...

“It is a great reflection of the total community that people in Lawrence know about, but that isn’t as well known in other parts of the country,” said Tom Kern, president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. “These type of rankings really help expand our reputation outside of the state of Kansas."

Our reputation...

The report, though, did show Lawrence ranked low on a pair of key economic categories. Lawrence ranked 14th out of 20 for earning potential, and 12th out of 20 for the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the community.

again... need to build (approve more land development)

Lawrence dropped all the way to 14th in the per capita income ranking. Lawrence was at $31,443. Dropped all the way from what last year?

Not that I don't agree that there is a shortage of quality jobs, but hope you don't miss the theme.

somedude20 4 years, 3 months ago

I gots ta say dat dis town be havin some of da bestest looking womens in all da land. Hells ya, dis town is illin with all da young dope lookin peeps and i iz try to give em all da lovin that i cans.

yeah yeah kid..go k2, yo yo, iz mean go ku

Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 3 months ago

Boy that photo brings back memories of me washing beer out my hair.

friendlyjhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Of course Lawrence is highly ranked! Lew just retired HAHAHAHAHA

boltzmann 4 years, 3 months ago

The official Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate in Lawrence in July 2010 was 6.4%, which was slightly below the average for KS (6.5%), but more than 3 points below the national average for that month (9.5%). So, yes, the unemployment rate in Lawrence is, relatively speaking, low.

slowplay 4 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes it's not the employer, it's the individual.

equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe someone got paid off for this ranking? I have lived in several college towns across the U.S., and never have I before landed in a city that seems so poorly planned and run, not to mention the corrupt ethos that rules among the Powers-That-Be at KU. They simply don't care about students, don't know the applicable laws or uphold decent standards of professionalism, and will flagrantly break the law and blame it on the victim. Unlike other nearby places where school officials seem almost equally dishonest, the school cops and the Douglas County law enforcement cave into these abuses of power and uphold the despicable misrepresentations HR and their buddies over in Strong put forth. There are just no reasonable checks on KU power abuses.The KU ethos features twisted southern justice and bigotry par excellance.

It's obvious the economy in Lawrence is not doing wonderfully. If people are working they likely are commuting to KC. If you aren't a "homie" ---native--born Kansan white -blood bumpkin-- it is very hard to feel safe on the streets of Lawrence. Complete strangers aggressively approach you, and even grab you on the basis of prejudiced, profiling assumptions. If this is hospitality, spare me-- more like terrorism in this day and age.

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