Boston Is America’s 9th Coolest City (Ouch, Forbes!)

America’s “9th coolest people’’ dining at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in Boston.
America’s “9th coolest people’’ dining at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in Boston. –Marissa McClain/

Well, it’s not first, but it sure ain’t last.

Boston’s entertainment scene and the high number of young people in the area make it one of the coolest cities in America, according to Forbes.

In its annual rankings, Forbes started with a pool of 60 cities and surrounding metro areas. (They had to exclude Orlando, they say, because of problems with its data. You snooze, you lose, Orlando.)

Forbes used six factors to determine coolness: recreation options, arts and cultural events, “foodieness’’ (i.e. the number of local restaurants, farmer’s markets, and breweries), racial and ethnic diversity, the percentage of residents aged 20-34, and net migration to the city.


Boston earned its high ranking in large part due to its rich arts scene and its plethora of recreation options. It also scored better than the number one city on the list, Washington, DC, in the local eats category, with a score of 86.7 percent to DC’s 68.9 percent.

Boston’s migration between 2010 and 2013 was on the lower side of the scale, at 2.1 percent. For comparison, one of the bigger boom towns, Austin, had a net migration of 7.5%. It came in at number three.

Here are the cities than ranked before Boston on the list, also known as the cities that are trying too hard: 1) Washington, DC; 2) Seattle, WA; 3) Austin, TX; 4) Houston, TX; 5) San Francisco, CA; 6) San Diego, CA; 7) Denver, CO; and 8) Riverside, CA.

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