Gather 'round, everybody. Yes, everybody of all different ethnicities, creeds, and sexual orientations, and let's hug it out. Why? Because Miami has been named the second most tolerant major metro area in America by a ranking authored by the Atlantic's Richard Florida.
According to Florida, his rankings took into account three variables: "the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups."
The Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Miami Beach area came in second on the tolerance scale for metro areas with more than 1 million residents, with an overall tolerance index of .69, and that shouldn't be much of a surprise. Miami-Dade has the most foreign-born residents in the nation, and Lauderdale has a booming gay mecca in Wilton Manors.
In terms of all metro areas, including smaller ones, our area came in 11th. We ranked first overall for foreign-born residents, 74th on the gay/lesbian rankings, and 161st on the integration index. There are 366 metro statistical areas total in the U.S.
So obviously, while we have a large foreign-born population, we still have a long way to go in terms of making the area a more integrated city.
In terms of major areas, we ranked behind only San Diego.
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Mr. Florida stresses the importance of tolerance in economic development.
"Tolerance -- and openness to diversity and inclusiveness -- is not an afterthought or something that happens when communities get rich," he writes. "It is a key element of the new economic development equation."