There’s a lot more to Durham that tech.

So says a new survey about creative people and where they want to live.

It’s the latest survey that finds Durham, Raleigh and other parts of the Triangle – or RTP as a whole – as an increasingly attractive place to live, work and raise families or retire.

For a host of reasons, the Bull City is a place so-called “creatives” want to live, says a new survey from financial management firm SmartAsset. Yes, Durham has become a hot high-tech startup hub. But the website notes entertainment and the arts are helping transform the city, too.

Key factors in the survey to rank 176 of the nation’s largest cities included cost of living and the “concentration of people working in the creative field.”

And Durham ranked highly when it comes to living costs.

In “Key Findings,” the survey noted:

“Avoid the coasts. Zero West Coast cities and just one East Coast city ranked in the top 10 in SmartAsset’s analysis. Durham, North Carolina was the only coastal city to score well for both affordability and culture (emphasis added).

“Are the new creative capitals in the South and Midwest? Nine of the top 10 cities for creatives in SmartAsset’s study are located in one of these two regions. If housing prices and the cost of living in cities like San Francisco and New York continues to climb, more and more creatives may head for the heartland.”

Inside the survey

To better understand the survey, we’re reprinting in whole what the list is based on:

“In total, we included 28 different occupations in this calculation, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: Art Directors; Craft Artists; Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators; Multimedia Artists and Animators; Artists and Related Workers, All Other; Commercial and Industrial Designers; Floral Designers; Graphic Designers; Interior Designers; Set and Exhibit Designers; Designers, All Other; Actors; Producers and Directors; Choreographers; Music Directors and Composers; Musicians and Singers; Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers, All Other; Editors; Writers and Authors; Sound Engineering Technicians; Photographers; Film and Video Editors; Dancers; Fashion Designers; Reporters and Correspondents; Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary; Curators; Architects.”

With the fields chosen, SmartAsset moved on to compiling hard date.

“For each city in our study, we calculated an affordability score and a creative culture score between 0 and 100. The lower the cost of living, the higher the score. (Any city with a cost of living that is 85% of the national average or lower scored a perfect 100 for affordability and any city with a cost of living at least 115% of the national average scored a zero.) Similarly, the greater the number of creative workers, the higher the creative culture score. (Any city with a concentration of at least 125 creative workers per 10,000 scored a 100 for that factor, while any city with 10 or fewer creatives per 10,000 scored a zero.)

“Lastly, we averaged these scores and indexed the results to 100: the city with the highest average scored an overall 100, while the city with the lowest average scored a zero.”

In its summary of the top 10 cities, Durham was cited specifically for the Performing Arts Center:

“The Durham Performing Arts Center opened in 2008 and is among the largest such centers in the U.S. It hosts hundreds of events and performances every year, including the American Dance Festival, one of the premier dance festivals in the world. Durham is also home to a music scene that boasts a number of independent record labels, including Merge Records, and has produced multiple national acts over the past decade.”

Raleigh didn’t crack the top 10.

But Triangle rival Austin sure did, coming in at No. 4.

Read the report at: