Lilian Min
Updated Sep 11, 2016 @ 10:35 am
Credit: Maggie Chiang /

For a lot of creative young folks, when it’s time for them to make their livelihood, they head to the cities. New York, Los Angeles, and many other coastal metropolises are assumed and actually are creative hotspots because well, cities are better places for artists to live, right? Not so, according to a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts, which found that there is indeed a geographic trend when it comes to creative hotspots — but it’s between the north and the south, not the central part of the States and the coasts.

The Washington Post helpfully illustrated the study’s findings, and we have to say we’re a bit surprised. Though the study draws its data from 2014, there’s a definite difference in the percentage of adults who work in creative fields like dance, photography, film, acting, pottery, and singing in northern states like Maine, Montana, and Alaska, versus Florida, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The study does have some ambiguity — all of a state’s creative force is averaged out over the entire state population, which is why someplace like California is only at the 40/45% range.

The differences can probably be chalked up to a few main factors like housing costs and education funding, but we’d be curious to see where the greatest pockets of the creative class are in these northern states — both for the knowledge, and also for my own future plans…!