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Charlotte: Hot City for college singles


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According to a new Census report Charlotte metro had the 3rd highest rate increase in college educated single people aged 25 to 39 from 1995 to 2000. And now that I think about it, most of my friends, which are in that 25 to 39 bracket, all moved here during that period from other parts of the State and Nation. This likely explains Charlotte's increase in nightlife, and trendy places in the past few years.


Here are rankings of metropolitan areas based on the number of single, college-educated people 25 to 39 who moved in and out between 1995 and 2000. The rate refers to the number of people gained or lost through domestic migration for every 1,000 such residents who lived in that metropolitan area in 1995.

Metro Area In Out Chg. Rate

Naples, Fla. 1,815 779 1,036 483.2

Las Vegas, Nev.-Ariz. 11,608 4,764 6,844 408.7

Charlotte-Gastonia, N.C.-Rock Hill, S.C. 18,620 8,529 10,091 344.3

Atlanta 61,758 29,871 31,887 282.2

Portland-Salem, Ore-Wash. 23,454 12,125 11,329 268.4

Denver-Boulder-Greeley, Colo. 41,851 22,172 19,679 264.0

Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. 29,209 15,441 13,768 250.5

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas 48,277 24,428 23,849 236.2

Boise, Idaho 3,173 1,741 1,432 231.7

Portland, Maine 3,861 2,434 1,427 214.7

SOURCE: Census Bureau via Associated Press

Here is the full article from the Observer:

Region attracts younger crowd

Near top in drawing single professionals


Staff Writer


Dancing at Mythos club uptown.

The number of young, college-educated professionals in the region is surging, and they are bringing cafes, art galleries and funky new stores in their wake.

According to data released Monday by the Census Bureau, the Charlotte region saw one of the biggest rates of increase in the number of young people of any city in the country between 1995 and 2000. Charlotte's young professional population went up by slightly more than one-third. Only Naples, Fla. and Las Vegas saw a larger rate of increase. Atlanta was fourth.

The data, taken from the 2000 census, counted people who moved to the Charlotte metro area from another metro area.

Bill McCoy, the retired director of UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute, said the area needs the new blood.

"Cities that attract this group are the ones who are going to be successful over the next 25 years," McCoy said. "They represent the new knowledge and industry, and that's what we need badly to transition from the old manufacturing model that we have had here for years."

The new data shows college graduates younger than 40 flocking to Charlotte and to other Southern and Western cities, often fleeing high costs of living and poorer job prospects. In Detroit and Philadelphia, for example, the number of young professionals shrunk, according to the census.

Stacey Curtis moved from Greensboro to Charlotte in June after accepting a job with Wells Fargo. She lives in the Cotswold neighborhood and works out at the YMCA in Gateway Village, a complex off West Trade Street at the edge of uptown.

Curtis, 26, said Charlotte's reputation as a good city for professional singles was a lure for her.

"It's more young and single. Greensboro is more 30s and married," she said. "A lot of my sorority sisters are here, and I'm trying to get everyone here. I'm like, come play!"

McCoy said people like Curtis are sparking the creation of places like Gateway Village, a complex that includes offices, apartments and services such as a hair salon within a two-block radius.

As long as the jobs hold up, word of Charlotte will continue to spread, McCoy said.

"I think there is a grapevine," he said. "Young people are coming here from the Northeast or other parts of the South, and word gets back. The climate is nice, there's lots of things to do. We haven't done anything in terms of a public relations campaign. It's happened more underground."

Now, the trend is out in the open, and it isn't just limited to the city. The census data included Gastonia, northern Mecklenburg County, and Rock Hill, S.C.

D.J. Cummins, general manager of Big Al's Pub & Grubberia in Cornelius in north Mecklenburg, said the bar's owners started the business about a year and a half ago because they saw an underserved market for a sports bar.

"This area of Lake Norman is mostly young people, with all the condos and apartments around here," he said. "They just come in and hang out and eat and drink. We don't necessarily target the young people."

The question now is whether young professionals will stay and keep supporting the businesses and restaurants sparked by their presence over the past decade.

McCoy said the slow economy has likely cut the number of available jobs, meaning fewer young people may be moving here now than were three years ago.

"I think it's slowed, and I think it's an important story to keep following because these young people are extremely important to the city's future," he said.

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Guest donaltopablo

I'm not sure why I am surprised, but I am a little to see Naples and Boise on the list. Naples is a great town, I can't say I'm overly surprised there.

It's nice to see Charlotte and Atlanta do well on the list, although the remaining cities are no surprise. I'm a little shocked not to see Boston, San Fran, or the Twin Cities on the list though. I expected all three of those to wind up on this list.

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They are moving to Chicago, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Columbus, Indianapolis, Portland, and DC in droves however. ;)

I know places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and "insert your sunbelt boomtown here" are growing in this category. But the thing I don't understand about good PR articles like this is how they seem to ignore the fact that not every city up north is failing.

Columnists and marketing magazine writers fail to understand that in order to praise the Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami's they do not need to put down the New Yorks, Bostons, and Chicagos as if they have inherently inferior conditions.

Afterall, Jackson, Birmingham, Little Rock, Amarillo and hundreds of towns inbetween aren't boomtowns either.

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Heckles, why get so offended by an article that is clearly PR fodder? You know it and I know it, so I wouldn't get so worked up over it. Yes, Charlotte and a bunch of other cities are doing well in this particular category, and yes, this is because there are cities that AREN'T doing so well in this category, but you gotta expect a PR-style article to spin it the way this article has. A PR article isn't about to go saying "yes, we're doing well, but look...Mineapolis and Indy are doing well too!"

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