Best-Performing Cities 2015



The Milken Institute's annual "Best-Performing Cities" index reveals that technology continues to power America's most dynamic cities. The Top 3 metros all have thriving tech centers: San Jose is No. 1, rising three spots from last year. Close on its heels at No. 2 is San Francisco, which was last year's top finisher. Returning to the No. 3 spot is Provo, Utah. Two Texas cities complete the Top 5, with Austin in fourth place (down from second last year) and Dallas in fifth (up from ninth place). Thanks to their diversified economies, both showed resiliency amid the plunge in oil prices and decrease in exports.

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

  • California secured six of the Top 25 slots among large cities, the most in any one state. Four are in the tech-driven San Francisco Bay Area.
  • San Jose reclaimed the No. 1 spot after having placed No. 4 for two years in a row (2013 and 2014). "San Jose's tech boom continues unabated," says Ross DeVol, Milken Institute chief research officer and one of the report's authors. "Its economy has the densest concentration of high-tech manufacturing in the nation."
  • While tech centers are prominent among top performers, several cities whose fortunes are tied to oil exploration fell in the rankings. Those that had diversified into industries beyond oil fared best.
Updated/Published December 7, 2015