It's a bunch of interesting findings. In a study of 51 metro areas by Joe Cortright for CEOs for Cities, there's a bunch of rankings that seem to run counter to Portland's image. (Joe is a well-respected and progressive economist that's written several guest columns here at BlueOregon, including on the CRC and Measures 66 and 67.)
Over at 1000 Friends of Oregon, Ted Sweeney takes note of the finding that the Portland region is great for small business, contrary to the prevailing narrative peddled by some business leaders:
The results provide interesting context, and even some contradictions, for two common narratives about the Portland region—that Portland is economically fragile, and that it is a beacon of transit use and walkability.
The Portland region comes out near the top of the heap on the economic indicators in the City Vitals report. Of the 51 city regions, Portland is #5 in the number of small businesses per capita, higher than Boston, Los Angeles, or Minneapolis-St. Paul. On the measure of entrepreneurship, Portland ranks #4, and had the 7th highest number of patents issued, beating out New York and Chicago.
By contrast, our vaunted livability and weirdness? Well, not so much:
On the other hand, despite our reputation, “Portlandia” isn’t as strongly represented in the City Vitals numbers as some might expect. For one thing, the Portland region does not rank on top in terms of active transportation and transit use. The core city of Portland comes in at #12 on walkability, beaten out by, among others, Miami. The region is also #12 in transit use among non-poor workers, far below #8, Los Angeles. ...
And those hoping to “Keep Portland Weird” may need to strive a little harder; the region ranked #16 on the report’s weirdness index (which measured “distinctive” local consumer habits against national norms), less weird than Seattle, San Diego, or Atlanta. The region isn’t the first choice for “where young people go to retire,” either. On the report’s “Young and Restless” scale, the percentage of 25-34 year olds with a college degree, the Portland region ranks only 16th, behind Raleigh, Columbus, and Baltimore.
What do you think?