5 of the top 10 ‘Best Performing Cities’ in America are in Texas

Texas Flag Best Performing Cities

Start with the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities, then look at their process/methodology, and then look at this post analyzing the data on CityLab. Comfortable yet? OK, let’s get going. 

Here’s the top 25 “large cities” via this process/metric base:

Top 25 Best Performing Large Cities USA

First thing that jumps out to me? Five of the top 10 are in Texas (Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, and San Antonio). Texas is essentially an economy unto itself. That’s probably about half the reason I live here. Also note that Utah has two in the top 10 — people love Utah! — and California, despite their drought issues of late, has two as well. Everything is pretty much west of the Mississippi with the exception of Raleigh and Charlotte. The Northeast Corridor may have the wealth, but it doesn’t have the best-performing cities, apparently.

Here’s an interesting part: if you compare the 2013 rankings to the 2014 rankings, what cities dropped the most? (Fell the most spots.) Here ya go:

Peoria Is A Mess

First thing: what the ever-loving shit happened in Peoria this past year? 102 spots down? From the 50s to the 150s? Secondly, this list is all about the decline of the Rust Belt, i.e. PA (which has a ton of cities here), WV, MD, TN, KY, etc. You can find data to prove anything, and others have argued the Rust Belt isn’t in decline. Also: my brother-in-law lives in Gainesville. Apparently that’s the 182nd Best Performing City. Ouch.

Here’s a time lapse drive through Peoria, if one is interested:

It’s hard to look at all this data and not think that the two major things driving the current U.S. economy are (a) tech and (b) energy.

Ted Bauer