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Houston is the 8th best metro for newcomers to make connections, study says

When's the last time you went to a networking event? Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

A big city might seem impersonal, but don't be fooled. There's more going on behind the scenes than what a resident might be seeing through their local lens, especially in Houston. A recent LinkedIn study has revealed the best U.S. metros for newcomers to make connections quickly, and Houston's sprawling metro earned a spot in the top 10.

LinkedIn's economic graph data team analyzed over 3 million users from the networking social media platform who relocated to a new metropolitan area in 2021. For the purpose of this study, "connection rates" were determined based on a newly relocated user's new LinkedIn connections in each metro compared to the overall U.S. average. It also excluded student migrations to new cities to keep the analysis focused on the workforce.

Houston ranked No. 8, with a newcomer's connection rate being 8.2 times higher than the national average.

Making industry-specific connections with people in a new city can lead to beneficial outcomes, such as participating in more volunteer work, engaging with fellow entrepreneurs, or joining a fun club with likeminded hobbyists. (Of course, we like to think the best way to network in a place like H-town is to follow the No. 1 publication that stays up to date on local happenings, CultureMap.)

Other interesting findings mentioned in the study is that Gen Z workers (born in 1997 and after) had the fastest connection rates in new metro areas. When analyzing by gender, men made 30.5 percent more connections on average then women did after relocating. However, the fastest overall growth despite age and gender demographics occurs relatively quickly after a person relocated.

"The fastest growth in LinkedIn members’ overall pace for adding connections – including ones outside their new metros – occurred in their first two months after migrating," the report said. "By the third month, this connection rate stabilized at about half their initial level."

The No. 1 city for newly-relocated folks looking to expand their professional horizons is, unsurprisingly, New York City. The rate of LinkedIn users making new connections with others in the Big Apple is 11.1 times higher than the national average, the report found.

Ranking two spots below Houston in Texas is Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 10). The rate of newcomers making new connections in the Metroplex is only 7.8 times higher than the national average.

LinkedIn's top 10 U.S. metros for networking by newcomers are:

  • No. 1 – New York City
  • No. 2 – San Francisco Bay Area
  • No. 3 – Salt Lake City
  • No. 4 – Los Angeles
  • No. 5 – Boston
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 8 – Houston
  • No. 9 – Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • No. 10 – Dallas-Fort Worth

The full report can be found on linkedin.com.


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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