- Dave Thomas American-Statesman staff
If you’ve ever motored up SoCo on a sunny SXSW afternoon, driving and dodging carefully lest you end up with a messenger bag wrapped around an axle, an iced chai latte splashed on your grill, listen up:
You ain’t seen nothing.
As far as hipsters go, we’re still in the “cool before everybody got here stage.” Or possibly the herd overgrazed and migrated northwest on mopeds and fixies. Either way, Austin isn’t special when it comes to hipsters.
Don’t believe it? Me neither, but that’s what the US Hipster Index says.
Created by MoveHub — a website that helps people move abroad — the index ranks the 150 most populous US cities against “five key indicators of ‘hipsterdom,’” and lists America’s 20 Most Hipster Cities.
Austin is nowhere to be found.
Wait, how’d they calculate this? Turns out, cities were given a score on a 10-point scale based on 5 things: Tattoo parlors, Vegan stores, Microbreweries, Thrift stores and (essentially) Gentrification.
And Austin is nowhere to be found.
Vancouver, WA, dominated the competition, scoring 8.23 out of 10. The rest of the top five were Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Boise and Richmond VA.
Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those studies where we get shown up by San Antonio. There’s not a top-20 city on the map between Albuquerque and Huntsville, AL.
In fact, the only time Texas is mentioned in their news release is to point out that Brownsville, with a rating of 1.241, is the least hipster city in the study.
(Brownsville is about 340 miles south. You can get there in a little over 5 hours. Just saying.)
Austin, as it turns out has a hipster rating of 4.88, in the same neighborhood as Baton Rouge (uh, sure) and Amarillo (wait … really? Vegan stores and gentrification are a thing in Amarillo?).
To be fair, MoveHub does point out that the population of large cities tends to dilute their score, with San Francisco only managing No. 61 and New York City falling all the way into Brownsville territory at No. 143. So maybe this study is a little flawed.
I guess Austin might be a hipster haven after all.