The Artist Hubs of America

Data analysis reveals which cities have the most working artists.

1 minute read

December 9, 2017, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Los Angeles Arts District

shalunts / Shutterstock

Richard Florida shares data on the concentration of artists in the country's 100 largest metros to find out which cities are the leading art hubs of the 21st century. "While New York galleries will be well represented at Art Basel Miami Beach, the metro is no longer the nation’s leading center for art and artists," writes Florida. But, the numbers don't bear out the narrative that large cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have completely priced artists out.

Pulling data from Esmi, Florida analyses the number of employed and self-employed artists between the years of 2011 to 2016, broken down by metropolitan region. "We ranked America’s leading art scenes using a measure called 'location quotient' or 'LQ,' a ratio that compares a metro’s share of working artists to the national share," explains Florida.

Topping the list is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward. Perhaps surprisingly, New York-Newark-Jersey City doesn't appear on the LQ list until number four, though the net number of jobs in 2016 in that region was second only to the Los Angeles region.

For a change of pace, read down to the list for self-employed artists, where Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin tops the LQ list. 

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