we're not 40... oh yeah

Is it really worth noting the 'news' that the current Forbes Magazine list of best places for singles dropped Pittsburgh from 29 to 32 among the top 40 regions... and what about the current criteria which includes an index of 'coolness' compiled by former-Pittsburgher-in-chief R. Florida.

You know what is curious. I would think an important metric for singles would be the proportion of other singles out there. As always you need to look at Pittsburgh the right way. If one were to look beyond just how old we are, which tends to make Pittsburgh look like we are a very 'married' region.. among young people we actually are a relatively uncoupled place. By that I mean a relatively high percentage of young people here are yet to be married. By my estimation, in Pittsburgh among those age 21-39 the percentage of people who have never been married is 39%, which is a higher proportion than the majority of those 40 regions in the Forbes list.

and according for Forbes, the #1 region for nightlife: Cincinnati.


5 Responses to "we're not 40... oh yeah"

Mark Rauterkus said... 7/27/2006 11:19 PM

We're 40 N@ as in "XL".

Amos_thePokerCat said... 7/28/2006 10:50 PM

We were at the bottom of the list for a number of years. Maybe three years? A couple of those years were even before Forbes started using Florida's "coolness" rating, so no excuse there.

If you look at the now seven (they added one) Forbes metrics for PIT:

Singles             27
Nightlife           30
Culture            22
Coolness          31
Online Dating    33
Cost Of Living     5
Job Growth      32

Singles = is all singles over 15. This is *not* just a young singles list, or young adults list, but all singles. This factor is double weighted. Double trouble.
Nightlife = Get real. This is the only metro area with a 1M+ pop that does not have a single restaurant listed in Zagat's. Not one! A score of 30 is too high, IMHO.
Cuture = in the middle.
Coolness = bottom fourth. We just love to hate Richard Florida here in PIT, but truth is truth. Hip, we are not.
Online dating = ? Ya, well, go figure. No singles, no online dating. Triple trouble.
Cost of Living = There it is. The much flogged and blogged cheap PIT housing. Ho-hum. Ahead of us, are (1)Altanta?, (2)Denver?, (3) Charlotte, and (4) Raleigh-Durham. I was expecting other rust belt cities to be ranking high on cheapness.
Job Growth = Oh, ouch. No job, no dates.

C. Briem said... 7/28/2006 11:49 PM

I still am amazed at how negative you are on everything here. I suspect I can not change your mind on that.. though I am not sure your goal: to make everyone feel miserable about being here and try to drive them away?

but here is a funny story. When forbes started the singles ranking.. actually before they started I had a call from one of their reporters on the topic of how 'old' Pittsburgh is.. It was a busy week and I never got around to calling them back not thinking it was for anything that important.. turns out this was for the first singles ranking and Pittsburgh would come out near the bottom. I always felt bad that if I had talked to them I could have given them a slightly better perspective on things.

not a young singles list? well maybe although the prevalence of being single drops off pretty fast in the population by age so it is pretty equivalent. by mid 30's the percentage who has never been married is pretty low. as I mentioned though, in a real sense there are more singles here than many other places...

did you see the story Forbes has about Denver people not believing they are number one.. sort of the inverse of people in Pittsburgh getting upset when they were ranked so low.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 7/31/2006 11:27 PM

I do not view it as being negative, but as being realistic. Or at least answering what I concider as the most optomistic and positive possible spin put on the data. What you call "As always you need to look at Pittsburgh the right way."

First, the "singles" metric is a perfect example. Forbes is not looking at how "old" we are. They are not looking at just young singles, but at the broadest measurement of all never married singles.

Ok, so you pick out a category of single-ness that happens to be favorable to PIT ... but you never really close the deal on a potentially interesting statistic. I don't have a list of these 40 cities with that measurement, nor do I have a way from the entry to find it. At least a "top 10" list of this metric (with PIT in that list) would go a long way to convince me.

I agree it drops off quickly above 39. That makes me wonder why we would be so different for 21-39, since it drops off, from the 15+ measurement. Do we have a derth of 15-21 year olds? What is that next new corporate mogul in PIT doing do in 20 years when he is looking for a trophy second wife here? ;-)

Second, the entry implies, and your anecodote reenforces, you seem to think that PIT is given a bum rap of being too old, and that this is the major metric bringing PIT down the composite ranking. In my comment, I enumerated each component in the ranking. We did poorly in 4 out of 6 metrics. I noted which ones I thought were duplicates, and noted the one we did the best in, even near the top. One was middling.

Not believing you rank #1 may be false modesty (I am curious about their cost of living rating for Denver), but is that better that false pride in ignoring bad news?

Amos_thePokerCat said... 8/01/2006 11:18 PM

Oh, and "derth" is not a word, but "dearth" (yet another strange middle english word spelling) is. Google "derth" and you find someone still bitter about finding that out in a fifth grade spelling bee.

No puns about Derth Vader, please.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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