Richard Florida has updated his various indices for the new version of his book The Rise of the Creative Class — Revisited. If you haven’t read the first one, do so. One of those is his “tolerance scale,” which Timothy Kincaid explains in context with the other indices:
Tolerance is one of the three “T’s,” along with Technology and Talent, which Florida contends makes up the necessary ingredients for the “creative class” to take root in a metropolitan area., Florida’s Tolerance Scale ranks U.S. metro areas in three key areas: the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Integration Index (which measures the degree segregation between ethnic and racial groups), and the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians).
If you’re curious why a “gay index” exists, Timothy also includes Florida’s explanation for that:
[C]ommunities that have long been more accepting and open to gay people have an underlying ecosystem which is also more likely to be accepting of new ideas and different types of people, including the eggheads and eccentrics who invent new things and start new enterprises. As Bill Bishop put it, “where gay households abound, geeks follow.”
Strong tolerance for gays is an indicator of a place that has other good things going for it, in short. So here’s the US map showing the “tolerance scale” for metropolitan areas around the country [click to embiggen]:
So how does your neighborhood rank? Mine’s in the middle somewhere. This is obviously a snapshot of counties overall, and if areas were analyzed in greater detail, it might look a bit different. For instance, my metro area doesn’t score that well, but when you’re in the progressive areas here, you are in them. Moreover, I see really dark purple in the Inland Empire outside of LA, and a lot of those areas are just teeming with wingnuts.