This morning’s Wall Street Journal had an article on cities by David Wessel about a study of educational attainment published by Edward Glaeser of Harvard.
Turns out, all the hype by Richard Florida about city growth and the creative class was unnecessary. The same correlation is evident with the census data on the percent of the population that has college degrees. Cities that do well during economic boom periods driven by high-tech and new ideas are the same ones with better educated populations.
This understanding was pioneered a decade ago by Paul Krugman in his Geography and Trade where he showed that specialized industries remained in the same locale for generations because the locale provided the specialized skilled workers.
Put this together with a general view of the world and your best long term investment will be residential property in the eight high-tech centers of educated people. The future is based on educated workers and they will concentrate where other educated workers live. And they will need housing.
Then lay on top of all this: the United States is the fastest growing large industrial nation with the youngest population and the most favorable attitudes toward commerce. Of course there is the business cycle, catastrophes and financial crises to think of too.