What Are Alabama’s Best Performing Cities? 4 State Metros Make National List

Several Alabama metros have landed spots on Milken Institute’s 2013 list of America’s Best-Performing Cities, including Huntsville (No. 101), Birmingham-Hoover (No. 179), Mobile (No. 134) and Montgomery (No. 182).

Huntsville, which was the No. 61 best performing city in 2012, fell 40 spots in the list this year. Birmingham-Hoover moved up 18 points from 197, Mobile dropped 29 places from 105 and Montgomery remained largely unchanged from 183.

In the small metro category, Auburn-Opelika jumped from 89 to 37, Tuscaloosa from 130 to 69 and Gadsden from 145 to 141. Decatur dipped from 106 to 137, Florence-Muscle Shoals from 69 to 150, Dothan from 165 to 175 and Anniston-Oxford from 173 to 178.

An interactive map of the findings can be found here. To see the side-by-side rankings, click here for large metros and here for small metros.

The report, which measures the top 200 large and 179 smaller metros for economic growth and their ability to create and sustain jobs, considers several components, including job, wage and salary and technology growth.

The ranking does not use quality-of-life metrics, such as commute times or housing costs, a news release announcing the results said.

“Job creation is the key measure of long-term economic vitality of America’s urban areas,” said Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors. “Many of our financial and social challenges can best be addressed by developing local strategies to foster high-quality jobs, and our Best-Performing Cities are showing the way.”

Topping Milken Institute’s large metro list were Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas (No. 1), Provo-Orem, Utah (No. 2), San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. (No. 3), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (No. 4) and Salt Lake City (No. 5).

By Lucy Berry