Washington is home to three of the top ranked hipster cities in the nation, making the Evergreen State very, very cool … or like, whatever.
Expat moving site MoveHub crunched some very fashionable numbers to come up with its “US Hipster Index.” It concludes that Vancouver, Washington is the most hipster city in the United States. Just let that settle in for a bit — Vancouver is the most hipster.
Coming up behind Vancouver is Tacoma and Spokane, ranking sixth and seventh, respectively. No other state had more than one city among the top 10.
MoveHub considered five data points, including: number of microbreweries; thrift stores; vegan restaurants; and tattoo studios per 100,000 city residents. The final factor is how bad rent inflation is within the city, indicating gentrification. Out of a top score of 10, the Washington cities ranked:
- 1. Vancouver: 8.23
- 6. Tacoma: 6.942
- 7. Spokane: 6.908
It seems that Vancouver is absorbing some of Portland’s dramatic increases in rent. Add that to plenty of beer, vintage threads, fresh ink and “healthy” food, you have the hipster capital of America. Vancouver ranked in the top five for three of the deciding categories: microbreweries; tattoo shops; and rent demand.
Looking to avoid hipsters? Try Brownsville, Texas (score of 1.37).
If you include Boise (fourth most hipster city with a score of 7.043), the Northwest is the most hipster region. And just because you are scratching your head wondering where Portland and Seattle are in all this — Portland has a score of 6.58 (12th) while Seattle pulls in at 5.93 (20th). For better or worse, Seattleites are not living in a very hipster city at all — despite the fact the person writing this very post is currently using mustache wax.
If you look at the categories alone, Portland and Seattle do have some figures to boast. Portland ranks much higher (No. 3) when considering microbreweries per capita, but Vancouver still beats the Rose City (No. 2). Seattle is No. 4 on the beer scale. No city, however, can beat Portland when it comes to vegan restaurants (Seattle ranks at No. 10).
MoveHub’s analysis is pretty clever, but it fails to pick up on nuance — unique aspects that craft a city’s hip ambiance. Though Vancouver can boast tattoo shops and microbreweries, it doesn’t have an annual Zine Symposium like its Oregon neighbor, Portland. Sure, Spokane has a lot of thrift stores, but does it have a trailer park mall like Seattle does? The rankings don’t take into account coffee shops, adventurous food, or the concentration of niche interests such as antiquing or pinball.
One could also measure beards or bicycles per capita, or the number of people who just can’t even right now.
MoveHub admits there are more factors to consider, and it will be “fine-tuning” its scores in the future. Fingers crossed — or not — the Northwest’s title remains.