Texas, Ohio Communities Gain - California, Oregon Fall in Economic Strength Rankings

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POLICOM’s annual economic strength rankings show many areas had significant improvement in their economies.

“Federal spending has made the Washington, DC metropolitan area the strongest local economy,” William H. Fruth - POLICOM

Forty-five of the 69 community statistical areas in Texas improved their national rankings for economic strength in POLICOM’s annual analysis of the nation’s economies. The state now boasts five metropolitan areas in the top 20.

Communities in Ohio displayed remarkable improvement as 27 of its 45 statistical areas bettered their rankings. “For many years communities in Ohio were on a downward slide, like many mid-west states. It appears that trend has been reversed,” commented William H. Fruth, President of POLICOM Corporation.

POLICOM, which specializes in analyzing local and state economies, annually ranks the 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 576 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States for “economic strength” - the long-term tendency for an area to consistently grow in size and quality.

Communities in California and Oregon appear to have had the sharpest decline in the rankings. For each, 79% of their communities dropped from their 2012 ranking.

For the third year in a row, the Washington DC metropolitan area, which is comprised of 17 counties, ranked as the strongest local economy in the United States. Driven by Federal government spending, between 2007 and 2011 the area added 40,000 federal civilian and 60,000 professional service jobs with combined payrolls now exceeding $32 billion annually.

Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, is top among the 576 micropolitan areas for the 2nd year in a row. Micropolitan areas are smaller economies and do not have a city with a population greater than 50,000 people.

Three North Dakota micropolitan areas - Dickinson, Minot, and Williston - have leaped into the top ten as a result of the energy boom in the western part of the state.

“The top rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time,” continued Fruth. “The rankings do not reflect the latest ‘hotspot’ or boom town, but the areas which have the best economic foundation.

The study measures 23 different economic factors over a twenty-year period to create the rankings. The formulas determine how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time. Data stretching from 1992 to 2011, released in January, 2013, was used for this study.

POLICOM has created this study each year since 1997.

For the economic strength rankings for all areas, go to http://www.policom.com.

The following are the 10 strongest Metropolitan and Micropolitan areas.

2013    Ten Strongest Metropolitan Areas

1    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
2    Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
3    Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
4    Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
5    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
6    Madison, WI
7    San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
8    Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX
9    Sioux Falls, SD
10    Kansas City, MO-KS

2013    Ten Strongest Micropolitan Areas

1    Concord, NH
2    Helena, MT
3    Lexington Park, MD
4    Williston, ND
5    Watertown-Fort Drum, NY
6    Lebanon, NH-VT
7    Minot, ND
8    Dickinson, ND
9    Barre, VT
10    Paducah, KY-IL

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