“’The rise of the rest’ may soon become a reality as once-lagging cities see growth of creative class employment,” reports Richard Florida in CityLab.

“One of the most troubling trends of the past decade is the deepening geographic inequality across the U.S., especially through the clustering of particular types of talent in coastal cities like San Francisco and New York. But a growing chorus of economists and urbanists suggest that we may be seeing the “rise of the rest,” a result of both increasingly unaffordable housing in established hubs and the improvement of the economies in less-established hubs. While startups and tech employment remain highly clustered, recent reports suggest that some Rustbelt and Sunbelt metros are increasing their ability to attract college graduates,” writes Florida.

He tracks past growth of the creative class across U.S. metros starting in 2005 to see which metros have the largest concentrations of the creative class then and now.

“The good news is that once-lagging Rustbelt and Sunbelt metros like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas have seen substantial creative-class growth over the past dozen years,” he reports.

Pittsburgh, at 19.7% growth in the creative class, is second only to Las Vegas (24.1%). The creative class includes nine of 10 Americans with a college degree “which is made up of knowledge workers in education, healthcare, law, arts, tech, science, and business,” says Florida.

Cincinnati (19.6%) is very close behind, followed by Grand Rapids (17.9%) and Cleveland (17.3%).

See the full story here.