While it’s hard to attract and retain people in New York City, Detroit may actually be on the verge of a Silicon Valley-like moment.
With a lack of transportation and the cost of living in the auto city great, the future looks bright for Detroit, with more than 140,000 people joining the local economy in 2016, according to Bloomberg. Add a more educated population of millennials, and you’ve got yourself a promising map for potential employers.
While these numbers don’t exactly illustrate the full extent of opportunity in Detroit, these numbers do point to something bigger: recent estimates show the City of Detroit’s population fell for the second straight year in 2017, but the area’s 22% unemployment rate ranked it the 2nd-best for growth in job creation among mid-sized U.S. cities. And many wonder: Will they still be able to find a job after the automakers leave?
Whatever the fate of the Motor City, there are more than a few American cities poised to be the next Silicon Valley and Forbes has examined how they’ve evolved to provide young people a viable place to start their own companies. In 12 years, the cities have gone from dead to vibrant, and small businesses provide the backbone for these communities.
Most of the cities in the top “job-creating” list aren’t on most people’s radar. Dallas has made a name for itself as a big comeback spot, and Austin continues to attract the tech set as the Austin region proves particularly conducive to startups thanks to generous tax incentives and access to talent.
The most surprising (in a good way) cities in Forbes’ list are the relatively small towns of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, and Pottstown, Pennsylvania. While both are covered in Pennsylvania forests, they have shared a post-recession boost in their local economies thanks to old-fashioned capitalism. Both towns have already brought in a high number of new business startups thanks to increased retail, digital and commercial spaces. Now both cities are poised to add an additional 5,000 tech start-ups over the next 10 years, a number that’s more than Silicon Valley itself.
Other cities in the top 10 include Somerville, Massachusetts, Fargo, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado, Lincoln, Nebraska, Riverside, California, and Nashville, Tennessee. Forbes’ research notes that on average, recent graduates in these cities make $44,000 more than the national average, especially if you’re living in Pottstown or Somerville.
The November issue of Forbes goes live Friday.