When we talk about success and successful people, what are we talking about? We’re talking about money and prestige. And with that comes Fortune 500 industries. We based this list of cities with successful people on a number of factors (the most nice suits and limos), but the big one was cities with notable industries—industry leaders—and prestigious higher education to get their people into these industries. So who’s got the success stories? Here’s our list.
Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have offices in Atlanta, with many, like Coca-Cola and Rubbermaid, headquartered here. As of 2006, the city ranked 10th in the country in high-tech jobs. Not to mention CNN and world-class colleges like Emory and Georgia Tech. Here comes success.
Seattle’s the shipping center of the Pacific Northwest, and it’s high-tech. One word: Microsoft. Boeing’s here, too. Anyone who’s anyone in technology or aerospace has to pass through, and that spells successful to us.
Home to Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Sunoco and Aramark, plus a world-class university and medical center at UPenn, Philly’s getting stronger on our successful people list.
MIT. Harvard. Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Mass General Hospital. Doctors and professors (and quite a few biotech big shots) roam the streets of Beantown.
#6 Los Angeles
It’s the home of the entertainment industry. Movie stars, producers, directors—some of the creative luminaries of the world pass through here. L.A. is success all the way.
Northwestern University, U. of Chicago, the Art Institute. In 2010 it had the third largest economy of any U.S. city and is a world financial hub. Smells like success to us.
Senators, diplomats and heads of state cruise the streets. It’s where the political shot-callers call the shots. For, like, the whole world.
#3 San Jose
“The capital of Silicon Valley,” San Jose is technology center of the universe, with access to Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and University of San Francisco. Whoa.
The financial hub of the West Coast, and just up the road from Silicon Valley, SanFran’s major in high-tech, too. Not to mention biotech. Not to mention loads of successful people who work in these fields.
#1 New York
With London and Tokyo, New York’s at the financial center of the world. And all the media’s here. And just about everything else—45 Fortune 500 company headquarters. You can smell the success coming out of the subways every morning.