In fact, says Kotkin, "[the] picture of Cleveland that emerges from the Cleveland State University study is a very different one from that to which we are accustomed. Rather than a metro area left behind by the information revolution, Cleveland boasts an increasingly youthful workforce that is among the better educated in the nation."
As for what's behind the growth of such coveted demographics: "Some of it has to do with a 25% expansion of STEM employment from 2003-13, much of it in health care tied to the region’s prestigious hospitals. This has helped spark a healthy increase in per capita income, from $33,359 in 2003 to $44,775 in 2012, a gain of 34%."
Kotkin also points out that the cost of living in cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh is much lower than in coastal cities and argues that ongoing appeal of Rust Belt cities is found in their productive economies, as compared to the consumptive economies of cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Kotkin concludes by recommending for strategies for Cleveland and other Legacy Cities to ensure positive trends for the long term.