Yes, probably some of it is the architecture, some the lakefront, some the good planning. But all those really lead into the last, which is maybe the biggest reason of all. Chicago is home to a group of young dynamic people, who are the sort of people who you want to live near and be sharpened by. This was reaffirmed by this recent article in Crain's Chicago Business:
Brains, bodies and beauty
Human capital — a buzzword among economists — simply means people. Think of it as raw material made up of bankers, traders, consultants, advertisers, engineers, artists and others who, through brainpower and creativity, turn ideas into money.
"The comparative advantage of cities is determined by how smart, how trained, how innovative, how entrepreneurial the people are in that city," says Edward Glaeser, a Harvard urban economist who advised the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' study group.
Chicago's human capital is strong. Among U.S. cities, Chicago ranks first in the concentration of young people (ages 25 to 34) living within three miles of downtown. It's second only to New York in the number of those with college degrees. Its universities are world class. The University of Chicago has been home to 20 Nobel Prize laureates, while both the U of C's Graduate School of Business and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management rank among the world's best business schools. Chicago also has the quality of life that keeps people here — vibrant art and music scenes, restaurants, museums, parks and recreational facilities.
Here's to living in a world-class city like Chicago!
(ht: Steve Lavey)