The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities index is an objective look at the factors of successful economic growth using outcomes-based metrics such as job creation, wage gains, and technological developments to evaluate the relative growth of metro areas like ours.

The Milken Institute explained: “The goal of our Best-Performing Cities index is to help businesses, investors, industry associations, development agencies, government officials, academics, and public policy groups monitor and evaluate how well their metro is promoting economic vitality relative to the rest of the country.  The index also provides benchmarking data that can inform approaches to improving a region’s performance over time.  The index can serve as a tool for understanding real estate, consumer, and business opportunities by indicating where employment is stable and expanding, wages and salaries are increasing, and economies and businesses are thriving.

“A shared understanding of their region’s competitiveness will help communities create a strategic economic vision focused on industries with the capacity to stimulate sustained growth and prosperity…Regions that better link education and training programs to the workforce needs of employers will attract businesses and create more opportunities for residents.  Developing new industries and companies will require fostering entrepreneurship and innovation through research institutions, incubators, and funding programs.”

In the 2018 rankings of 200 metros, the top 10 best-performing MSAs were 1) Provo-Orem, Utah; 2) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; 3) Austin-Round Rock, Texas; 4) San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California; 5) Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas; 6) Raleigh, North Carolina; 7) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida; 8) Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington; 9) Fort Collins, Colorado; and 10) Salt Lake City, Utah.

Other cities of interest to us are Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell – #17; Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – #25; Jacksonville – #26; Chattanooga – #65; Louisville-Jefferson County – #91; Kansas City – #97; Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – #109; Knoxville – #122; St. Louis – #130; Birmingham-Hoover – #165; New Orleans-Metairie – #189.

The Memphis MSA is ranked #145 (tied with Baton Rouge).

Here is how the Memphis region has ranked over time:

Overall Ranking:

#145 – 2018
#148 – 2017
#149 – 2016
#182 – 2015
#145 – 2014
#150 – 2013
# 99 – 2012

Jobs Growth – Five Years:

#153 – 2018
#123 – 2017
#136 – 2016
#170 – 2015
#141 – 2014
#143 – 2013
#153 – 2012

Wage Growth – One year:

#106 – 2018
#162 – 2017
#168 – 2016
#182 – 2015
#71 – 2014
#122 – 2013
#74 – 2012

Wage Growth – Five years:

#149 – 2018
#164 – 2017
#155 – 2016
#153 – 2015
#141 – 2014
#143 – 2013
#138 – 2012

12-Month Jobs Growth – 8/2017 to 8/2018

#67 – 2018
#121 – 2017
#168 – 2016
#144 – 2015
#135 – 2014
#154 – 2013
#102 – 2012

High-Tech GDP Growth – Five years:

#139 – 2018
#154 – 2017
#48 – 2016
#69 – 2015
#55 – 2014
#22 – 2013
#17 – 2012

High Tech GDP Concentration:

#164 – 2018
#146 – 2017
#142 – 2016
#149 – 2015
#150 – 2014
#147 – 2013
#149 – 2012

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