Menu

Several TN cities advance in latest rankings from Milken Institute

Both Knoxville and Chattanooga advanced in the latest list of “The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities Index.”

Just released, the report shows that Knoxville moved up 30 spots to #61, just behind Chattanooga which was ranked #62 last year and advanced to #59 in the latest survey. The rankings are derived from assessing data collected in 2020 around 11 factors. The core components of the index, included every year, are job creation, wage growth, and output growth, especially in high-tech sectors. In 2021, for the first time, the index also included measures of broadband access and housing affordability. In 2022, the authors again included broadband access and housing affordability (albeit from different sources) because access to economic opportunity remains an essential consideration in evaluating economic performance – more so than ever amid evidence of growing inequality during the pandemic.

Topping the list of large cities classified as Tier 1 was Provo, UT followed by Austin, TX, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and the Palm Bay area of Florida which includes Melbourne and Titusville. Fayetteville, AR ranked #8; Durham-Chapel Hill was #11; Huntsville, AL came in at #12. Knoxville and Chattanooga were classified in the Tier 2 category where Nashville was the highest ranked Tennessee city at #25. Atlanta came in at #47, and Charleston at #54. Tier 3 communities included Savannah, GA that tied for #78, Columbus, OH in at #80, Greenville, SC at #88, Columbia, SC at #100, Birmingham at #104, Cincinnati at #111, and Clarksville, TN at #120. Memphis led the Tier 4 list, ranked #128. Kingsport and Bristol came in at #161, while Asheville dropped 92 spots from last year into a tie at #165.

Ironically, another Utah city – this time, it was Logan – topped the rankings of small cities. The top ranked Tennessee small city was Morristown that came in at #44 in the Tier 2 category, followed by Johnson City that moved up 57 spots to #55 and Jackson, TN that advanced 63 places to #69 as a Tier 3 community. Cleveland, TN dropped 24 spots to #82.

Stay connected with us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Article ideas and other suggestions should be sent to tballard@pyapc.com. Include the name and contact information (phone and email) for follow-up.