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Best-performing metros in the United States in 2013: Top 50 large, small metros

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The annual list of best performing metros-cities in the United States for 2013 has been released by the Milken Institute, according to Yahoo! News on Thursday. The best performing localities for the past year indicate that technology and energy are developing well in the best-performing areas in the country.

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Distinctive from other “best places in the United States” lists, the Milken Institute’s list has nothing to do with quality of life. Instead, it focuses on job and wage growth as well as the propensity for technological innovations in the country. In other words, such characteristics of a city as the climate, the healthcare facilities available, and the number of recreational offerings are not taken into consideration for this list.

According to the chief research officer of Milken Institute, Ross DeVol, some of the leading tech metros in 2013 were successful despite being high-cost and high-regulation locations in the United States. DeVol said that cities like San Francisco and San Jose in California as well as Cambridge in Massachusetts have developed R&D facilities and other infrastructure. Therefore, he asserts, it is easier to innovate there. He also says that job creation is the key measurement of long-term economic vitality for America’s urban areas, as many of the country's financial and social challenges can best be addressed by developing local strategies to foster high-quality jobs.

One can see that other cities in the top tier of the list shows just how the increased United States energy sector is having a positive effect on local economies. The report accompanying the list indicates that gas and shale oil have put 9 metros into the annual list's top 25 localities – such as Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio in Texas as well as Bakersfield in California. The report also indicates that oil production has increased in excess of 400 percent in the past five years which assisted Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota to make the top 5 small cities list.

A summary of the latest annual report by the Milken Institute reveals that Texas owns 7 of the top 25 metros while California and Colorado have 4 each. Overall, the largest gainers on the overall list saw Hagerstown-Martinsburg in Maryland-West Virginia move up 100 positions to number 70, while Tulsa in Oklahoma moved up 76 positions to number 42, and Phoenix in Arizona moved up 56 positions on the list to number 66.

Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Metros” list reveals where jobs are being created and sustained in metro areas throughout the United States. Again, measures of job, wage, and technology performance are strongly figured into the firm’s listing of the nation’s best-performing large metropolitan areas and best-performing smaller metros.

The Top 50 Best-Performing Large Metros in the United States

  1. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
  2. Provo-Orem, Utah
  3. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California
  4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
  5. Salt Lake City, Utah
  6. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington
  7. Dallas-Plano-Riving, Texas
  8. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
  9. Boulder, Colorado
  10. Greeley Colorado
  11. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, South Carolina
  12. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
  13. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
  14. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
  15. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colorado
  16. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  17. Corpus Christi, Texas
  18. Trenton-Ewing, New Jersey
  19. Bakersfield-Delano, California
  20. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
  21. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington
  22. Laredo, Texas
  23. Cambridge-Newton-Farmington, Massachusetts
  24. Lafayette, Louisiana
  25. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California
  26. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
  27. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, North Carolina-South Carolina
  28. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  29. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin
  30. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
  31. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  32. Holland-Grand Haven, Michigan
  33. Indianapolis-Carmel, Indiana
  34. New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey
  35. El Paso, Texas
  36. Baltimore-Towson, Maryland
  37. Columbus, Ohio
  38. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Maryland
  39. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, California
  40. Clarksville, Tennessee-Kentucky
  41. Atlanta-Sandy springs-Marietta, Georgia
  42. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  43. San-Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California
  44. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  45. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia
  46. Boston-Quincy, Massachusetts
  47. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, South Carolina
  48. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan
  49. Madison, Wisconsin
  50. Peabody, Massachusetts

The Top 50 Best-Performing Small Metros in the United States

  1. Columbia, Missouri
  2. Columbus, Indiana
  3. Fargo, North Dakota
  4. Bismarck, North Dakota
  5. Midland, Texas
  6. Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  7. Longview, Texas
  8. San Angelo, Texas
  9. Morgantown, West Virginia
  10. Dubuque, Iowa
  11. St. Joseph, Missouri-Kansas
  12. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  13. Greenville, North Carolina
  14. Odessa, Texas
  15. Iowa City, Iowa
  16. Victoria, Texas
  17. Logan, Utah-Idaho
  18. Jonesboro, Arkansas
  19. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  20. Lafayette, Indiana
  21. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia
  22. Waco, Texas
  23. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
  24. Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  25. Cleveland, Tennessee
  26. Billings Montana
  27. Fairbanks, Alaska
  28. State College, Pennsylvania
  29. El Centro, California
  30. St. Cloud, Minnesota
  31. Casper, Wyoming
  32. Ithaca, New York
  33. Appleton, Wisconsin
  34. Napa, California
  35. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa
  36. Corvallis, Oregon
  37. Auburn-Opelika, Alabama
  38. College Station-Bryan, Texas
  39. Rapid City, South Dakota
  40. Winchester, Virginia-West Virginia
  41. Houma-Bayou cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana
  42. Kankakee-Bradley, Illinois
  43. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts
  44. Owensboro, Kentucky
  45. Bellingham, Washington
  46. Burlington, North Carolina
  47. Abilene, Texas
  48. Tyler, Texas
  49. Gainesville, Georgia
  50. Flagstaff, Arizona

The Milken Institute list of best performing large and small metros in published annually.

Subscribe to Scott's political and news articles for the best of 2013 lists in a variety of categories, or follow him on Twitter at @Scott1850.

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