February 23, 2005

Valentine's Day with the Creative Class

My Valentine's Day Book Review in the new Washington Examiner:

On St. Valentine's Day, Washington's fancy turns from political strategy to biological imperatives. So how does D.C. rank as a place to find Mr. or Ms. Right?

In Cities and the Creative Class, George Mason University professor Richard Florida doesn't concentrate much on l'amour -- but he does provide ample statistical evidence that the Washington area abounds in eligible singles and in classy places for romantic dates.

The region ranks high in the kinds of people Dr. Florida believes drive prosperity: the well-educated, software programmers, technology entrepreneurs and the like. Plus, Washington offers the arts, culture, and ethnic bistros ideal for dating.

In the District itself, not all the good ones are taken. According to my own research, D.C. residents --of whom only 9 percent voted for President Bush -- were much less likely to be married than the citizens of any state. During the 27 years from age 18-44, the average black woman in D.C. could expect to be married an average of only 3.9 years. This compares to 5.4 years in Pennsylvania, the worst-ranking state.

Likewise, the deeply Democratic 18-44 year old white women of D.C. average merely 7.4 years of marriage -- compared to 12.2 in the bluest state, Massachusetts, and 17 in the reddest state, Utah.

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