Provo-Orem, Utah, Tops Milken Institute’s 2022 Top Performing Cities Ranking for Second Consecutive Year | Business


Provo-Orem, Utah, for the second year in a row, demonstrated the strongest economic performance among major cities, according to the Milken Institute’s 2022 Top Performing Cities Index. Logan, Utah rose from #2 in 2021 to #1 among small towns in 2022. These top rankings mark the state of Utah’s continued success in creating jobs and increasing salaries. The index, published annually since 1999, is the first of its kind to include pandemic year data from 2020 to assess the performance of US cities amid the global health crisis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live and work, and it has had a direct impact on our cities,” said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and the California Center. “When comparing urban areas, access to opportunity is a key consideration, especially in light of the growing inequalities made apparent by the pandemic.”

Having become an established hub for tech startups, Provo-Orem has maintained its No. 1 ranking with the highest levels of job growth and salary growth over the past five years.

“Ensuring the long-term economic vibrancy of Provo is a top priority,” said Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. “To be honored as the nation’s top performing major city by the Milken Institute two years in a row reflects what we’ve always known – Provo IS the best place to live and do business.”

Job creation, wage growth and output growth are the main components of the index, and the 2022 ranking also includes measures of housing affordability and broadband access which have been introduced the previous year.

The index ranks cities into five tiers, making it easier for stakeholders such as policymakers, business leaders and residents to compare their economic performance to that of their peers.

Key findings from the 2022 Top Performing Cities Index:

  • Provo-Orem, Utah maintains the #1 ranking among major cities. With a relatively low cost of living, low tax rate, and local talent, the region has attracted tech giants including Oracle, Adobe, Vivint Smart Home, Qualtrics, and Amazon, among other West Coast investors. . Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona; and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida round out the top five respectively.
  • Asheville, North Carolina is seeing the biggest drop in major city rankings from 2021 to 2022. For the second year in a row, the metro area ranked near the bottom of the short-term employment growth index, indicating a sharp contraction in employment at the start of the pandemic. San Luis Obispo, Calif., saw a similar decline due to low housing affordability rankings.
  • Logan, Utah, improves one spot to rank No. 1 among small towns. Home to several high-tech medical manufacturing industries, including pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, Logan, Utah ranked in the top ten for nearly every measure of job and wage growth. Following in the overall small town rankings are St. George, Utah at No. 2, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at No. 3, Redding, California at No. 4 (jumping 59 spots in the rankings) and Idaho Falls, Idaho at No. 5.
  • High-tech jobs continue to move from major coastal cities to affordable inland metropolitan areas. Intermountain West cities that have grown their tech economies in recent years have been able to maintain positive growth in the index’s 2022 ranking; however, traditional high-tech hubs, including San Jose and Durham-Chapel Hill, saw a rebound in this year’s rankings, indicating the resilience of high-tech industries in the face of economic uncertainty.
  • Despite the attention paid to emigration, the importance of cities remains. While much has been written about an “urban exodus” during the pandemic, the phenomenon has been vastly overstated. Although cities such as New York, New York and Los Angeles, California have seen population declines (due to factors such as fewer births, more deaths and less immigration from abroad) , cities like Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington, saw notable declines. Growth rates.

“Our report shows how patterns of economic activity are developing and changing in cities across the country,” added Charlotte Kestevenreport author and senior policy analyst at the Center for Regional Economics at the Milken Institute. Comparing their performance provides an essential starting point for policymakers and local leaders to better assess their economies and plan for future economic success. »

How we rate cities

The index measures economic vitality in 200 large metropolitan areas and 201 small metropolitan areas using job creation, wage growth and innovation industry metrics. Like the previous year, the 2022 version of the index focuses on jobs, wages, high-tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access.

“Best-Performing Cities 2022: Charting Economic Resilience and Opportunity” is co-authored by Kesteven, Alissa Dubetz, Abraham Song, and Caroline Choi. To view the full report and search for all 400 metropolitan areas assessed, visit and follow the coverage on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn using #BestPerformingCities.

Milken Institute’s Top Performing Cities Index 2022


1. Provo–Orem, UT

2. Austin–Round Rock, Texas

3. Salt Lake City, UT

4. Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ

5. Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville, Florida

6. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington

7. San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara, CA

8. Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR–MO

9. Colorado Springs, CO

10. Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX


1. Logan, UT–ID

2. St. George, UT

3. Coeur d’Alene, ID

4. Redding, California

5. Idaho Falls, ID

6. Walla Walla, WA

7. Sioux Falls, SD

8. Gainesville, Georgia

9. Champaign–Urbana, IL

10. (Tie) Bend–Redmond, OR

10. (Tie) Abilene, TX

About the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics and the California Center

The Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics produces research, programs, and events designed to inform and activate innovative economic and policy solutions to drive job creation and industry expansion.

About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that helps people build meaningful lives in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources needed to create ever-increasing opportunities for themselves and their wider communities. For more information, visit

See the source version on

Chad Clinton, [email protected], +1 (202) 262-1067



SOURCE: Milken Institute

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 03/28/2022 00:01 / DISK: 03/28/2022 00:01

About Joyce Hill

Check Also

Healing Hearts and Nurturing Souls

PROVO, Utah – There’s a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming …