Among the nation’s large-sized cities, "Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford" made the top 50, ranking at #47 in the latest list from the website newgeography.com. Leading the 2013 list were metropolitan San Francisco, greater Nashville, and Salt Lake City. The rankings used four measures of growth to rank all 398 metro areas for which full data sets were available from the past 10 years. The Hartford region dropped four slots from the 2012 rankings.
New Haven ranked at #65 among the medium-sized cities, just behind Fresno, California and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Leading the list were Boulder, Colorado and Provo-Orem, Utah. The highest ranked New England community was Framingham, Massachusetts, at #30. The only other city from the region to reach the list was Springfield, Massachusetts, at #91.
Among the leading Small Cities, Danbury was the highest ranked in Connecticut at #111, with Waterbury at #223, and Norwich-New London at #233, on a list of 241 small cities. Topping the list were Midland and Odessa, Texas followed by Columbus, Indiana; Cleveland, Tennessee; San Angelo, Texas and Owensboro, Kentucky.
"Large" areas include those with a current non-farm employment base of at least 450,000 jobs. "Midsize" areas range from 150,000 to 450,000 jobs. "Small" areas have as many as 150,000 jobs. The rankings reflect the current size of each MSA’s employment. Only two MSAs changed size categories, with Honolulu, HI moving from “Midsized” to “Large” and Savannah, GA moving from “Small” to “Midsized.”
In the overall rankings, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk was #348, Waterbury ranked #380, and Hartford placed at #229. All the leading Connecticut metropolitan areas dropped in the rankings in 2013, compared with 2012.
NewGeography.com, based in North Dakota and California, is a site devoted to analyzing and discussing “the places where we live and work.” It includes “insights on economic development, metropolitan demographics, and community leadership.”
The index is calculated from a normalized, weighted summary of: 1) recent growth trend: the current and prior year's employment growth rates, with the current year emphasized (two points); 2) mid-term growth: the average annual 2007-2012 growth rate (two points); 3) long-term trend and momentum: the sum of the 2007-2012 and 2001-2006 employment growth rates multiplied by the ratio of the 2001-2006 growth rate over the 2007-2012 growth rate (two points); and 4) current year growth (one point). The rankings include all of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports monthly employment data.
newgeography.com Executive Editor Joel Kotkin is distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, CA and an adjunct fellow with the Legatum Institute in London. He is author of seven books including his most recent, The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 from Penguin Press and is affiliated with the Praxis Strategy Group and the Center for an Urban Future.