Best-Performing Cities 2010:
Where America's Jobs Are Created and Sustained
Oct 01, 2010
Ross DeVol, Armen Bedroussian, Kevin Klowden, and
Candice Flor Hynek

Texas metros, led by number one Killen-Temple-Fort Hood, occupied 11 of the top 25 positions in the 2010 Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities Index - and five of the top 10 spots.

Leaders in this year's index, which ranks U.S. metros based on their ability to create and sustain jobs, are all locations that were shielded from losses in the production of capital equipment and consumer durable goods. Diversified technology bases, including high-tech manufacturing; reliance on service industries; having a large military presence and a relatively small presence of financial services were common characteristics in this year's top performers.

The 2010 top 10 performers (with 2009 rankings) of the 200 largest metros:

1. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX (2)
2. Austin-Round Rock, TX (1)
3. Huntsville, AL (8)
4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (4)
5. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, WA (n.a.)
6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (25)
7. Raleigh-Cary, NC (10)
8. Anchorage, AK (40)
9. El Paso, TX (14)
10. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (5)

The Best-Performing Cities Index includes both long-term (five years) and short-term (one year) measurements of employment and salary growth. There are also four measurements of technology output growth, which are included because of technology's crucial role in creating good jobs and driving regional economies.

The Index ranks 379 metros, grouped into large (population of more than 200,000) and small (population of less than 200,000) metros. Population changes and modifications in how the U.S. Census defines certain metropolitan areas added 55 metros to this year's Index. Because of these changes, last year's ranking is not available for all metros.