Celebrate 50 Years
Community Research Institute

Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities

MSA
2014 Rank
2013 Rank
2012 Rank

Change in Rank from 2012-2014

2014 Overall Index
Nashville, TN
15
14
27
12
644
Grand Rapids, MI
25
48
100
75
803
Indianapolis, IN
26
33
51
25
822
Madison, WI
30
49
71
41
890
Des Moines, IA
40
30
72
32
942
Lexington, KY
96
44
137
41
1,489
Fort Wayne, IN
140
104
59
-81
1,727
Kalamazoo, MI
143
184
185
42
1,748
Toledo, OH
151
131
180
29
1,806
Peoria, IL
157
55
62
-95
1,834
Chattanooga, TN-GA
163
174
80
-83
1,712
South Bend, IN-MI
166
176
153
-13
1,918
Evansville, IN-KY
169
166
101
-68
1,931
Rockford, IL
180
145
115
-65
2,074
Dayton, OH
186
172
117
-69
2,151

There were 200 MSAs in this study.

In 2014, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA MSA was ranked #1 with an overall index of 100. Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ MSA was the lowest at rank 200 with a 2,666 index.

The names of the MSAs have been abbreviated. The complete list of the areas involved is available at the Milken Best Cities web site.

Chart showing the 2014 rankings as presented in the table above.

Information about this study: Two hundred of the largest metro areas are ranked on the basis of the following factors:

  • 5-yr job growth
  • 1-yr job growth
  • 5-yr wages & salary growth
  • 1-yr wages & salary growth
  • 5-yr relative high tech GDP growth
  • 1-yr relative high tech GDP growth in high tech GDP location quotient (LQ)
  • the number of high tech GDP LQs over 1