Where Does the Creative Class Reside in DC?

by Shilpi Paul

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A new map from Atlantic Cities highlights the DC neighborhoods with the highest percentage of creative class workers.

The creative class is defined broadly by urbanist author Richard Florida, who cites the group with driving economic development. Everyone from scientists to business owners to artists is included in his definition. The creative class makes up 46.8 percent of the workforce in DC’s metro area, according to Florida.

In this map, the population is divided by census tracts. Areas with a majority of creative class workers are in purple, service class workers in red and working class workers in blue. Generated by Florida’s Martin Prosperity Institute, the map was created using information from the American Community Survey and is part of an attempt to better understand the geography of class.

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Courtesy of Atlantic Cities.

In what is probably not going to be surprising to readers, the so-called creative class workers are concentrated in the city’s NW quadrant, with the highest concentration in places like Cleveland Park and Chevy Chase, where about 85 percent of the workers are in the creative class. (Click to the original article to access the interactive map, which breaks down the percentage of each type of worker in each tract).

The 16th Street NW divide exists in this map, though not as starkly as it did in the income map that we reported on a few weeks ago. About 75 percent of residents in the areas around Logan Circle are in the creative class, while many areas of Columbia Heights and Petworth seem close to equally divided between creative and working class.

Outside of the NW corridor, Capitol Hill has the high percentages of creative class workers, as well as parts of Brookland, LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale. East of the river, the area surrounding Fort Dupont Park is also purple, with 58 percent of the residents classified as creative class, 33 percent as service class and 9 percent as working class.

Interestingly, blue does not exist anywhere on the map, meaning that there is not one census tract that has a majority of working class workers. According to the study, the working class makes up 12.8 percent of the metro’s workers.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/where_does_the_creative_class_reside_in_dc/6641

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