Boston - An Emerging Powerhouse (and I’ll drink to that)

Posted by Matt Corbett on Jun 2, 2015 10:55:47 AM

In case you haven’t heard, Boston is the next big thing. Of course, I am biased - I call Boston home and have done so for over 20 years now. Although, I am being objective (at least as objective as a Bostonian can be about his/her beloved “Hub of the Universe”) because the data comes from the independent, outside consulting firm A.T.Kearney (based in Chicago BTW).

It’s a fairly interesting study. Boston places 23rd today and places 3rd in their future predictor, beaten only by London and San Francisco. A.T.Kearney evaluates a city’s potential using metrics like “personal well-being, economics, innovation, and governance”. The reason for the variation from present to future is the ‘patents per capita” score of 4.83 per 1000 residents. By being placed in the top 25 cities in both studies, Boston is named as a Global Elite city. 

Newbury-Street-Boston-USA3399Here are two key factors that should move Boston from 3rd place to 1st:

  • Number of institutions of higher education per city resident
    • Boston is 53 for 650,000 = 1:12,264
    • San Francisco is 25 for 840,000 = 1:33,600
    • London is 40 for 8.3M = 1:207,500
  • Number of bars per city resident
    • Boston has 675 for 650,000 = 1:963
    • San Francisco has 665 for 840,000 = 1:1,263
    • London has 7,000 pubs for 8.3M = 1:1,185

The secret sauce is in combining these two seemingly unrelated facts - Bostonians are well educated and aren’t afraid of a friendly pint at the pub at the same time. Boston has broken the magical 1 bar per 1,000 resident barrier. What better combination for innovative, brainstorming and heated idea creation?  When you’re smart and pickled, the natural outcome has to be an astonishing patents per capita score of almost 5 per 1,000 residents.


Thanks for reading. I’m off to do my Bostonian duty to have a drink and then invent something. Care to join me?

Topics: Culture