AEI Rates Bay Area STEM Among the Worst

A new report by Edward Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which rates the “Ten Best and Worst Metro Areas to Live in for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Jobs,” comes to some apparently surprising conclusions (full report). Pinto, Co-director of the AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance considers the 30 metropolitan areas with the most STEM jobs, and considers three factors, (1) the number of STEM jobs, (2) job growth since 1990 and (3) relative housing affordability for first time home buyers. Job growth is included as a measure of economic vibrancy. Pinto explains the inclusion of housing affordability.

On one hand, some metro areas with relatively high home prices are desirable places to live in terms of jobs and local amenities. On the other hand, house prices may be higher than they really need to be due to local policies that needlessly drive up the price of land and thereby constrain the amount of new housing. Households should be aware of these tradeoffs.

All of the top four metropolitan areas are in the South, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Austin. Chicago, with superior housing affordability, ranks unusually high at number five. Four of the bottom five are in California, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and fifth worst San Jose, the historic world leader in technology. Baltimore ranks fourth worst. Just outside the bottom five is tech leader San Francisco, at sixth worst.

The map below summarizes the rankings (see map below, used by permission).

Please continue reading the AEI findings here (full report).