Originally posted at the Milken Institute.
What critical factors determine which U.S. metros are thriving or merely surviving? Which places possess the traits that will lead to success?
The Milken Institute’s annual Best-Performing Cities report provides a fact-based, comprehensive metric system across metropolitan areas that highlights the job, wage, and technology trends that shape current and future prospects. The Milken Institute’s annual index of Best-Performing Cities shows that technology and energy are the biggest forces behind America’s booming metros.
California is home to four of the Top 25 large cities.
This year’s best-performing metro area is Austin, Texas. Other cities that scored high included: Provo, Utah (No. 2, up from seventh place last year); San Francisco (No. 3, up from No. 36); San Jose (No. 4, down from No.1) and Salt Lake City (No. 5, up from No. 6).
“Some of the leading tech metros were successful despite being high-cost, high regulation locations,” says Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors. “Cities like San Francisco, San Jose, and Cambridge have developed R&D assets and infrastructure that makes it easier to innovate there than in lower-cost locations.”
Other cities in the top tier show how the surging U.S. energy sector is lighting up local economies. The shale oil and gas boom thrust nine metros into the Top 25, including Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi in Texas, as well as Bakersfield, Calif. In North Dakota, oil production has increased by more than 400 percent in the last five years, helping place both Fargo and Bismarck in the Top 5 small cities.
The Best-Performing Cities index shows where jobs are being created and sustained in metros across the U.S. The index includes measures of job, wage, and technology performance to rank the nation’s 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros. Unlike other “best places” rankings, it does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times or housing costs. In the Institute’s index, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality. Wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs created and sustained.
For more about the process, click here.
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Several other California cities made the list, including:
Large Cities 2013 (by Metropolitan Area):
3. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
25. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles
39. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta
43. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
78. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine
97. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
103. Santa Cruz-Watsonville
125. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
157. Santa Rosa-Petaluma
171. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
Small Cities 2013:
29. El Centro
92. Yuba City
View all of the cities on the Milken Institute’s interactive map below:
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View the full report here.