Special Report

25 Most American Cities

15. Lexington-Fayette, KY

While no metro area can perfectly match the racial diversity of the U.S. as a whole, Lexington-Fayette is somewhat close. About 11% of Lexington-Fayette residents are African American, not far from the 12% national share. The metro area lacks a significant Hispanic population, however, and is whiter than the nation as a whole. The metro area’s obesity rate of 28.2% is roughly in line with the 27.0% national obesity rate.

14. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa closely matches the U.S. as a whole in several social and economic measures. Tulsa’s racial composition is strikingly in line with that of the country as a whole. Roughly 67% of Tulsa residents identify as white, only slightly more than the 63% national share. Similarly, 8% of Tulsa residents identify as black, only 4 percentage points less than the corresponding nationwide figure.

Some aspects of the city’s employment composition also close to nationwide averages. The finance, insurance and real estate industry employs 6.4% of Tulsa’s workforce, nearly the same as the share of the workforce the industry employs nationwide.

13. Columbus, OH

The diverse industrial composition of the Columbus metro area closely resembles that of the country as a whole. About 24% of the Columbus workforce is employed in education, health, and social services, 12% in retail trade, and 9% in manufacturing, each within a percentage point of the national employment distribution. A number of major American companies of various industries are headquartered in the Columbus region, including insurance company Nationwide, clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, and American Electric Power.

12. Winston-Salem, NC

The employment distribution in Winston-Salem closely resembles that of the country as a whole. This may be one reason for the similar unemployment rates as well. Winston-Salem shares a 4.7% unemployment rate with the nation. In other economic measures, however, many Winston-Salem residents are worse off than the average American. The typical household in the metro area earns $43,665 annually, about $10,000 less than the typical American household.

11. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

In terms of income, the typical Phoenix household is much like the typical American household. The median household income in the metro area of $53,365 a year is only a few hundred dollars less than the median income nationwide. Employment composition by industry also closely mirrors that of the country as a whole. The shares of the city’s workforce employed in retail trade, wholesale trade, construction, and arts and entertainment are all within a percentage point of the nationwide shares.

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