Which cities have the best chance to prosper in the coming decade? The question is a complex one, and as the economy changes, so, too, will the best-positioned cities.
To identify the cities most likely to boom over the next 10 years, we took the 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on eight metrics indicative of past, present and future vitality. We factored in, equally, the percentage of children in the population, the birth rate, net domestic migration, the percentage of the population aged 25-44 with a bachelor’s degree, income growth, the unemployment rate, and population growth.
The results show two divergent kinds of ascendant cities. One is driven by the tech industry, the in-migration of educated people and sharply rising incomes; the other type is what we describe as “opportunity cities,” which tend to have a diverse range of industries, lower costs and larger numbers of families. We may be one country, but the future is being shaped by two very different urban archetypes.
No. 12: Charlotte, North Carolina
Pct. Of Children in Population (5-14): 14.1%
Job Growth, 2010-15: 15.4%
Population Growth, 2010-14: 7.4%
Net Domestic Migration, 2010-14: 8.8 per 1,000
Birth Rate, 2010-14: 12.8 per 1,000 women
Bachelor's Degree Holders (Pct. of Pop. 25-44): 37.6%