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Is San Diego Tolerant? As it Turns Out, Very — And It Helps Us Prosper

As the state and the nation get used to the idea of gay marriage, following the landmark Supreme Court decisions this week, here's another way to look at tolerance.

Photo by Susan Murphy

Awaiting the Supreme Court decisions on Proposition 8 and the Defense Of Marriage Act, John Shaw looks at a rainbow flag flying atop a flagpole in Hillcrest, June 26, 2013.

An author has taken a look at what regions in the nation are the most tolerant – based on the number of immigrants and gays who live there and the amount of integration in the community – and found San Diego stands atop the list.

The state fares well in the list overall, according to The top 10 is dominated by California communities, including Napa, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz, which follow our region, defined as San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, to fill the top four slots on the list.

The writer, Richard Florida, is an Atlantic Monthly editor and university researcher whose colleague developed the method for analyzing which cities are most open and embracing of diverse communities.

Florida suggests that a region's access to technology, talent and yes, tolerance, help feed a healthy economic climate. In the case of the latter, he writes, places “where newcomers from different backgrounds are accepted quickly into all sorts of social and economic arrangements” are more likely to feature rapid innovation and growth.

“Tolerance - and openness to diversity and inclusiveness - is not an afterthought or something that happens when communities get rich. It is a key element of the new economic development equation,” he concludes.

Florida is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class, which was re-issued last year in a 10th anniversary edition.

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