Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay area named 15th best major metro for college students

Students cross campus at the University of Tampa between classes on Nov. 13.


Students cross campus at the University of Tampa between classes on Nov. 13.



The Tampa Bay area is the 15th best place in the United States for college students, according to a new ranking from the American Institute for Economic Research.

The group, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on economic trends and personal economics, ranked metropolitan areas on everything from unemployment to diversity to nightlife. Tampa got its best marks for its cost of living minus rent, overall economic activity and, despite rising rents, the cost of rent. Here are the bay area scored in each category measured by the group:

Social and cultural life

Cost of rent — No. 5

City accessibility — No. 14

Arts and entertainment — No. 9

Culture — No. 14

Bars and restaurants — No. 14

Diversity — No. 12

Cost of living minus rent — No. 2

Work opportunities

Youth unemployment — No. 6

College-educated population — No. 15

Economic activity — No. 4

Science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) — No. 14

This is good news for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who has spent the last five years talking about how Tampa's economic and social future depends on its success in keeping its brightest young minds and attracting others.

Orlando ranked 20th among midsized metros. Naples was eighth and Gainesville 16th among small metro areas.

And here's the organization's list of the top 15 major metros and the categories in which they got their two highest rankings:

1. San Francisco — Diversity, bars and restaurants.

2. Boston — Bars and restaurants, culture/city accessibility/youth unemployment/college-educated.

3. Seattle — STEM, bars and restaurants.

4. Denver — Youth unemployment, college-educated.

5. Houston — Economic activity, cost of rent.

6. Minneapolis — Youth unemployment, arts and entertainment.

7. Washington, D.C. — College-educated, STEM.

8. Dallas — Economic activity, cost of rent.

9. San Diego — Culture, bars and restaurants.

10. New York City — City accessibility, arts and entertainment.

11. Baltimore — City accessibility, cost of living minus rent/STEM

12. Los Angeles — Arts and entertainment, diversity.

13. Atlanta — Cost of living minus rent, cost of rent.

14. St. Louis — Cost of rent, cost of living minus rent.

15. Tampa — Cost of living minus rent, economic activity.

[Last modified: Friday, November 27, 2015 12:34pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours