Many American cities and states have enjoyed strengthened economies as the national economy has thrived. Unemployment is low. In many states, tax income is up because of rising personal income and successful businesses. California recently posted a $100 billion surplus. In a rare sign of financial health, politicians in the state have started to debate how the money should be used.
City and state financial health, like most other measures of the economy and demographics, vary widely by location. Even in the current economy, some cities are much less healthy than others. At the far end of the spectrum, some cities have posted financial and job figures that are unprecedented.
To identify the best performing large city in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report Best-Performing Cities 2022 – Charting Economic Resilience and Opportunity, published by the nonprofit economic think tank Milken Institute. The report looked at metropolitan areas, rating each by an index comprising 11 measures, including employment and wage growth.
Utah, Texas and Colorado have the largest number of best-performing large cities we considered. Metro areas in nine other states, including the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers area that overlaps into Arkansas and Missouri, have performed well above the national averages.
Provo–Orem, Utah, ranks first due to high job growth, wage growth, and high-tech GDP growth. The area, dubbed the Silicon Slopes, has attracted such tech giants as Oracle, Adobe, and Amazon, and remains a fertile ground for young startups. Here are the details:
> Employment growth, 2015 to 2020: +19.8% — #1 highest out of 200 cities
> Wage growth, 2015 to 2020: +28.0% — #1 highest
> Adults with bachelor’s degree or higher: 40.7% — #25 highest
> Total population: 633,129 — #102 highest
Methodology: To identify the best performing large city in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the report Best-Performing Cities 2022 – Charting Economic Resilience and Opportunity, published by the nonprofit economic think tank Milken Institute. The report looked at metropolitan areas, rating each by an index that includes 11 different measures, including GDP, employment, and wage growth. Other measures included high-tech-related measures, access to broadband, and housing affordability.
Supplemental data includes the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher for each metro and population from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2020 five-year estimates.
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