Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'll be moving to San Francisco

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m reading Richard Florida’s new book, Who’s your City, which explores the forces behind why people select and stay in certain cities over other.

Apparently there are strong psychological characteristics to certain cities and this can actually be mapped using location quotients (see the personality maps here). Florida examines the work of Rentfrow, another geographer, who mapped 600,000 survey respondents across five major personality dimensions to find personality clusters in the US. Rentfrow found that:

Type of Region

What Florida Says

Who should live there




High in extroversion, low in neuroticism, conscientiousness, openness, and very low in agreeableness.

People who are outgoing and social, who like group activities and functions, who play team sports, and like to be around other people. Unlikely to appeal to people who prefer very close ties or community involvement or to those who constantly need multiple options or enjoy trying new things.

Chicago, Minneapolis, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Orlando, West Palm Beach.



High on agreeableness and conscientiousness as well as extroversion, low in openness and neuroticism.

People who are hard working, friendly, trusting, helpful, and compassionate. Perfect for model citizens. Places for people who want to fit in and are more conventional or traditional in their outlooks and values; those who value the status quo and typically don’t step out of line. Poor fit for those who are artistic or creative and constantly need to be trying out new and different things.

Atlanta, Phoenix, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville (Nash-vul), Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Indianapolis, and Portland, Oregon.



High on openness and neuroticism, low in conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness.

People who do not need to be around other people, who question authority, and who quest after intense experiences (intellectually, creatively, emotionally, physiologically). Good fit for people who are creative but perhaps also lost in their own world, socially isolated, aloof, cantankerous, or who thrive on stress. Poor fit for people who like to meet new people and make friends easily, have conventional values, are status quo oriented, and prefer to work in stable jobs and on standard tasks.

New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver, Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, Buffalo, New Orleans, Louisville.

I’m fascinated by this stuff. I guess this is why we can travel to a place and it just speaks to us on a deeper, more profound level.


Max Billings said...
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Robyn Hughes said...

Haha I love that New York scored high on neurosis and low on agreeableness. And I'll come join you in San Francisco!!