The 2000 census, which shows a clear correlation between a city’s prosperity and its attractiveness to college graduates, suggests a new, winner-take-all pattern in urban growth. A handful of cities are quickly moving away from the pack in their ability to attract and retain workers with college degrees. In the top 100 metro areas, the 25 cities that began the 90’s with the highest percentage of college graduates ended the decade with even more. The highfliers saw the educated share of their population jump by 6 percentage points — twice the average growth of the other 75 cities.

Winning seems to feed on itself, as cities like San Francisco, Denver, and San Diego have become more than just good places to find a high-paying job. They are cool places to hang out, with gourmet food, great live music and an abundance of well-spoken, well-dressed singles looking for sex and marriage. More here.