If Educational Attainment is the Most Valuable Predictor of Arts Attendance, Can the Arts Become a Magnet for a More Highly-Educated Populace?

39.4% of Americans have at least a 2-year college degree.

Of the 25 most populous metropolitan areas (not limited to the city limits), only 15 surpass that percentage by more than 1%.

They are (in order of percentage, high-low):

  1. DC
  2. Boston
  3. Oakland-San Francisco
  4. Minneapolis
  5. Seattle
  6. Denver
  7. New York
  8. Baltimore
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. San Diego
  11. Portland
  12. Chicago
  13. Atlanta
  14. Philadelphia
  15. St. Louis

Coincidentally, every one of these cities exceeds the mean in inter-city US migration (moving from one US city to another).

When you eliminate people who have attended school-based arts performances and exhibitions in which they have a significantly personal connection to the art (a child, a neighbor, etc.), fewer than 50% of Americans have paid to experience the arts.

Does that mean that we give up on the arts in other metropolitan areas? Or might the arts serve as an attractor for highly-educated migrants?

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