El Paso: Where Young People Go to Leave

The New York Times Magazine ran a feature on Portland touting the city’s ability to attract and retain college educated young people.

Portland has taken hold of the cultural imagination as, to borrow the tag line from “Portlandia,” the place where young people go to retire. And for good reason: The city has nearly all the perks that economists suggest lead to a high quality of life — coastlines, mountains, mild winters and summers, restaurants, cultural institutions and clean air. (Fortunately, college-educated people don’t value sunshine as much as they used to.) Portland also has qualities that are less tangible but still likely to attract young people these days, like a politically open culture that supports gay rights and the legalization of marijuana — in addition to the right of way for unicyclists or the ability to marry in a 24/7 doughnut shop. “It’s really captured the zeitgeist of the age in a way that no other small city in America ever has,” said Aaron Renn, an urban-affairs analyst who writes the Urbanophile blog. According to professors from Portland State University, the city has been able to attract and retain young college-educated people at the second-highest rate in the nation. (Louisville, Ky., is No. 1.)

Yeah, well El Paso has mountains, mild winters, restaurants and cultural institutions. I guess we need more craft beer and coffee shops.

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