Tampa second-most similar to 'real America'

- The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area is second on a list of metro areas whose demographics are most like the rest of the United States.

A study done by economist Jed Kolko for fivethirtyeight.com reveals that Tampa Bay has nearly identical percentages of racial and ethnic makeup as the rest of the country. 

Kolko did the study this week in reaction to our political climate - with all its talk of where "real Americans" live - needed perspective.

"When people have referred to 'normal America,' they have often had in mind places that don't look much like what America looks like today," said Kolko.

First, he looked at census data for the whole country, then compared it with every major metro area.

Demographic
U.S.
Tampa Bay area
White
63%
67%
Black
12%
13%
Hispanic
17%
17%
College Education
30%
27%
Over 65
15%
18%

"The places that looked most similar were the metro areas of New Haven, Connecticut, and Tampa, Florida," said Kolko.

Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater scored 92 of 100 on his similarity index.

"It is more important for people who aren't in Tampa who are looking to understand what America looks like outside of the bubbles they live in," he said.

When you picture America, picture South Tampa and East Tampa, Bayshore and UT, downtown and Ybor, St Pete's Beach Dr. and Clearwater Beach.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn says Tampa Bay-as-America is proof we are positioned to attract talent.

"It makes us more attractive to corporations who are looking to relocate to places where number one they have talent, and number two, where their workforce is going to be welcomed because we are so diverse," said Buckhorn.

The Tampa metro area is the only area in the southeast to make the top ten.

The other places mentioned in our story, New York, Georgia, DC and North Carolina, did not have any cities that made the top ten.

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