Community Research Institute

Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities

MSA
2013 Rank
2012 Rank
2011 Rank

Change in Rank from 2011-2013

2013 Overall Index
Nashville, TN
14
27
42
28
342
Des Moines, IA
30
72
83
53
459
Indianapolis, IN
33
51
121
88
491
Lexington, KY
44
137
45
1
549
Grand Rapids, MI
48
100
159
111
563
Madison, WI
49
71
23
-26
569
Peoria, IL
55
62
68
13
586
Fort Wayne, IN
104
59
127
23
792
Toledo, OH
131
180
171
40
880
Rockford, IL
145
115
177
32
927
Evansville, IN-KY
166
101
74
-92
983
Dayton, OH
172
117
166
-6
1,030
Chattanooga, TN-GA
174
80
117
-57
1,032
South Bend, IN-MI
176
153
188
12
1,037
Kalamazoo, MI
184
185
173
-11
1,074

There were 200 MSAs in this study.

In 2013, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSA was ranked #1 with an overall index of 100. Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ MSA was the lowest at rank 200 with a 1,312 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 2013 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