Despite all the moaning and groaning about brain drain, Boston is awash in young, college-educated talent. You can find the tale of the tape for the top-100 largest U.S. metros here. Almost 40% of Boston residents aged 18-34 hold at least a bachelor's degree. Pittsburgh is 12th with 29.81% and ahead of Chicago, Seattle, and Austin.
You can sort the rankings by both percentage and absolute numbers. NYC leaps to the top with almost 1.5 million young adults with a college degree. Number 2 is LA, roughly half the number you find in New York. Pittsburgh, Austin, Portland, and Columbus are grouped together. Since people vote with their feet, Pittsburgh is cooler than the other three cities.
The absolute number of college-educated young adults is a good proxy for urban hierarchy in the Talent Economy. This cohort is the most geographically mobile and the focus of most retention initiatives. How this population changes from year-to-year would be interesting to track. Just how fast is DC closing in on Chicago?