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Best-Performing Cities 2022

Cities continue to drive economic growth across the nation. They are the primary locations where businesses create new jobs and workers earn higher wages, keeping the United States competitive in the global economy. However, metro areas are incredibly diverse. Each has unique characteristics generated through a combination of investment and policy choices that influence the community’s economic outcomes. The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities Index (BPC) provides a means for comparing metros’ recent performance.

This year’s index continues a trend noted in last year’s edition: a shift in high-tech jobs away from the largest coastal cities toward comparatively affordable inland cities with thriving local economies. That said, this year’s index also saw a rebound of some of the traditional tech hubs, notably San Jose and Durham–Chapel Hill, which emphasizes the comparative resilience of high-tech industries in the face of the pandemic.

While many of the nation’s traditional high-tech hubs still provide economic opportunities, they are no longer the only centers that create high-paying jobs, marking a shift toward spreading this type of economic success across more of the country.