Forbes ranks the coolest cities of 2014

August 15th, 2014

The District of Columbia was ranked as the coolest city in the U.S. due to its many entertainment and recreation options, among other factors.

Forbes recently published a ranking of the coolest cities in the U.S., and Washington D.C. took the No. 1 spot.

The ranking was created through a partnership between the news source and Sperling’s Best Places. The 60 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions, which include cities and their suburbs were assessed. A few weighted factors were used to rate the locations:

  • Population growth: Using U.S. Census Bureau data, Forbes examined age and population expansion since 2000. With regard to the former, there was particular focus on residents aged 20 to 34. This also included how much population growth was due to net migration, which indicates that people want to move to a city.
  • Culture: This dimension looked at the city’s diversity, specifically the likelihood of meeting someone from a different race or ethnicity.
  • Entertainment: Venues such as theaters, museums, aquariums, zoos and other entertainment options per capita were measured.
  • “Foodie”: This category was based on restaurants and bars per capita. Preference was given to cities with more local establishments compared to chain restaurants.

Here are the top 10 coolest cities of 2014:

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. Seattle
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Houston
  5. San Francisco
  6. San Diego
  7. Denver
  8. Riverside, California
  9. Boston
  10. Dallas

Fun, culture and food in Washington D.C.
The District of Columbia ranked high in most dimensions. It received a 99 out of 100 on the arts and culture index and scored a 93 for recreation. The city has a wide array of fun and educational opportunities to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon. Some options are the Smithsonian Museum, the Shakespeare Theatre Company and of course, the D.C. Mall, according to, the city’s official tourism website.

“D.C. is a high-amenity city,” Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, told Forbes. “It has its share of cultural arts. It has its share of natural beauty.”

Furthermore, D.C. residents can experience an array of cultures. The city had a diversity index rating of 70.34. While enjoying all the entertainment, recreation and culture, residents can grab a bite to eat at one of many local restaurants, as about 70 percent of restaurants in the city aren’t part of a chain.

Despite high marks in the aforementioned categories, the District of Columbia fell short for its population of residents aged 20 to 34, which only accounted for 29.8 percent of the total population. Additionally, only 3.4 percent of population growth was due to net migration.