With recession far behind in the rearview mirror, the American economy is now in its full swing again, and we bring you a list of 12 US cities doing the best economically right now. Nevertheless, the pace of the economic recovery is not the same in all American cities. Some cities like Detroit, for instance, will need much more time than the likes of Bismarck whose fortunes were turned thanks to Bakken shale oil. In short, things have changed quite a lot since the late 2008 shock, and a map of wealthiest US cities has been shaken up in return. But with oil reserves being at their highest level ever, oil boomer cities and their express economic growth are becoming jeopardized. Furthermore, low oil prices don’t really go in their favor as well, and things are projected to deteriorate even further. Future of most American cities is uncertain, to say the least, and we can only concentrate on the current situation.
It comes without saying that economically sound cities exhibit their share of fast growth, and here’s the list of 10 fastest growing cities in America in 2015. Of course, fast growth of respective city’s population and economy don’t necessarily have to be related, though they usually are. So, what are the categories that define respective city’s economic progress and overall level of well-being? These have to be average income per capita, unemployment rates and low poverty ratings. This criteria trio might not be able to offer completely accurate picture on what the best economies among US cities currently are, but they’ll bring us as close as possible.
Average GDP per capita by metropolitan area can be obtained from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. At the same time, unemployment rates have been pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and poverty rates can be found in this Federation of American Scientists report (look in the appendix). As you can see from the sources, latest data are still unavailable, so you’ll have to forgive us if something has changed dramatically in the last few months. While unemployment rates are as fresh as they can be (November, 2015), poverty ratings have been published during January of the same year. Finally, per capita real GDP has been calculated as average for 2013 and 2014, which are the last two of available years.
After getting the data, the only thing remaining is to interpret it and develop a viable ranking system. We have rated more than 120 metropolitan areas across America that we figured had a chance to get on the list. All of them have been rated in all three categories, and the composite score has determined which of them found its place on our list of 12 US cities doing the best economically right now. But how have we compiled the composite scores? For all three categories, we have taken the minimum and maximum appeared value. We have decided to assign points from 5 to 10 which means that there are six grades in total. The difference between the minimum and maximum value has thus been divided by six, and the grades have been applied. Of course, with three criteria and six grades, there’s bound to be a tie here and there. Cities and metropolitan areas with higher GDP per capita have been given an advantage as overall salaries showcase respective city’s economy strength the best, by our assessment.