Milken Institute ranks cities with the best economic performance

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Best performing cities in 2021

1. Provo-Orem, Utah

2. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida

3. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

5. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina

6. Boise, Idaho

7. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona

8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

9. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah

10. Huntsville, Alabama

Source: Milken Institute. The Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index tracks the economic performance of approximately 400 US metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). It uses an outcomes-based set of metrics-including job creation, wage gains, and high-tech GDP growth-to evaluate the performance of these cities relative to one another.

Chattanooga ranked No. 62 among 200 comparable mid-size cities included in the study in the 2021 study, up from its 85th ranking in 2020. Among smaller metro areas, Cleveland, Tennessee ranked No. 58 but enjoyed the biggest one-year gain of any metro area, rising 132 places from its 190th place ranking in 2020.