It’s not the education, stupid

A large “creative class” determines economic prosperity, not merely the number of people with college degrees, writes Richard Florida in The Atlantic.

While most economists measure human capital by levels of educational attainment, my colleagues and I utilize a different measure: the share of a country’s workforce in high-skill, high wage Creative Class jobs spanning the fields of science, technology, and engineering; business, management and finance; design and architecture; arts, culture, entertainment, and media; law, healthcare, and education. A series of studies have found that these occupations, rather than college degrees, provide a more accurate measure of the key skills that comprise human capital. . . . In the U.S., for example, nearly three-quarters of adults with college degrees are members of the Creative Class, but less than 60 percent of the members of the Creative Class have college degrees.

Singapore ranks first in the world on this measure with 47.3 percent of the population in the creative class, followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany. The United States ranks 27th in the world, just behind Slovakia.

Russia ranks 20th (38.6 percent), ahead of the U.S. Russia? Really? China lags far behind at 75th (7.4 percent).

The U.S. ranks 7th on the scale for technology and innovation, according to Florida.

Here’s more on the creative class.