New Orleans ranked top U.S. city for creative types

July 23, 2015

Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Forget New York or Los Angeles. Working artists should move to New Orleans if they want to see their careers flourish. That's according to a new Smartasset ranking that names New Orleans the top U.S. city for creative professionals, from painters to musicians, choreographers to architects.

According to the personal finance website, traditional artistic hubs such as New York and Los Angeles are too pricey for most creatives. New Orleans is affordable and has a long history of playing muse to creative types.

The personal finance website looked at data from 176 of the largest cities in the country, focusing on two main categories: cost of living and the concentration of residents working in a creative field. The site included 28 different creative professions in its analysis.

Cities with the lowest cost of living received the highest scores. Similarly, cities with high rates of creatives -- at least 125 creative workers per 10,000 -- ranked well.

New Orleans has a cost of living that is 98.4 percent of the national average, according to the Smartasset ranking. The city has 161.1 creative workers for every 10,000 workers, the highest among top-ranking cities.

It may come as little surprise in a city overflowing with music clubs and street corner musicians. But musicians were not the only profession boosting the numbers. Smartasset noted the city boasts 1,900 full-time actors and actresses, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic data.

Here are the top 10 cities for creatives as ranked by Smartasset:

  1. New Orleans
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Kalamazoo, Mich.
  4. Austin, Texas
  5. Nashville, Tenn.
  6. Columbus, Ohio
  7. Omaha, Neb.
  8. Des Moines, Iowa
  9. Durham, N.C.
  10. Kansas City, Mo.

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