Cities on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley have made the list of Best-Performing Cities nationwide by the Milken Institute.
The United States’ best-performing metro area is San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley. Other cities with strong exposure to technological innovation scored high in the new ranking: Austin, Texas (No. 2, up from fourth place); Raleigh, N.C. (No. 3, up from No. 14); the Washington, D.C., metro (No. 5 from No. 17); and Cambridge, Mass. (No. 8 from No. 12).
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City were ranked 36 on the list in 2012, compared to their 52 spot in 2011.
“People expect tech to be one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, and it was,” Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors, said in a statement.
“A perhaps less expected highlight of this year’s rankings is how the national resurgence in manufacturing is reflected in the greatly improved fortune of local economies, especially in the upper Midwest,” he said.
Among this year’s biggest gainers in large metros is Holland-Grand Haven, Mich., leaping 108 places to No. 40. Other Midwestern hotspots include Minneapolis-St. Paul; Gary, Ind.; Warren, Mich.; and Indianapolis. Each city moved up at least 70 spots in this year’s index.
The Best-Performing Cities index includes measures of job, wage, and technology performance to rank the nation’s 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros.
Unlike other “best places” rankings, it does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times or housing costs. In the Institute’s index, employment growth is weighted most heavily due to its critical importance to community vitality. Wage and salary growth measures the quality of jobs created and sustained.