Best-Performing Cities

For Immediate Release
December 8, 2015

Advantage, Innovation: Milken Institute Announces 2015 Best-Performing Cities

Success Knows the Way to San Jose—and Other Tech Hubs

For Immediate Release

LOS ANGELES—The Milken Institute's annual Best-Performing Cities index for 2015 shows that tech is tops, as cities that excel in innovation increasingly drive the nation's economic dynamism. With an ecosystem for entrepreneurship, San Jose, California, claimed the top spot, up three ranks from last year.

"More than ever, America's best-performing cities demonstrate what we call the innovation advantage," says Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report's authors. "That is witnessed not just in 'traditional' technology but in the importance of software, social media and even cutting-edge health innovation."

The Milken Institute's annual Best-Performing Cities index, compiled since 1999, uses a comprehensive, fact-based set of criteria to rank 200 large and 201 small metros across the United States. As an outcomes-based index, growth in employment, wages and technology output are heavily weighted; metrics such as cost-of-living and quality-of-life conditions, often highly subjective, are not included.

Highlights from "2015 Best-Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained" include:

"This year's Best-Performing Cities index tells a tale of two sectors—technology and oil—moving regional economies in opposite directions," says DeVol. "In the shale oil patch, plummeting energy prices are undercutting the performance of those metros reliant on the sector, such as Tulsa and El Paso. But in Top 25 cities such as San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Denver, the softer side of high tech is fueling urban economies, with stellar job and wage growth. As cities across America focus on fostering high-quality jobs, our best-performing cities are showing the way."

Top 10 Best-Performing Large Cities

Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) 2015 rank 2014 rank Change
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1 4 +3
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA 2 1 -1
Provo-Orem, UT 3 3 0
Austin-Round Rock, TX 4 2 -2
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX 5 9 +4
Raleigh, NC 6 5 -1
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 7 11 +4
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 8 16 +8
Greeley, CO 9 14 +5
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA 10 24 +14

2015 Best-Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained, by Ross DeVol, Minoli Ratnatunga and Armen Bedroussian, is available for download at Data for all metros is available on the interactive "Best-Performing Cities" website. Join the Twitter conversation at #bpcfor2015.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It conducts data-driven research, convenes action-oriented meetings and promotes meaningful policy initiatives.
Twitter: @milkeninstitute


Conrad Kiechel, Director of Communications
(310) 570-4668

Jeff Monford, Associate Director of Communications
(310) 570-4623

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View Best-Performing Cities Report
Download The 2015 Best-Performing Cities Full Report (PDF)

View Top 10 Large Cities Slideshow
View Top 10 Large Cities Slideshow

View Top 10 Small Cities Slideshow
View Top 10 Small Cities Slideshow

U.S. Interactive Map
View Interactive Map of Best-Performing Cities

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