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  • Mike Cecchini

Albuquerque Leaps on Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Ranking

Albuquerque made the third-biggest gain among large cities in the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities 2021 report.

Excerpted from ABQ Business First Rachel Sams – Editor-in-Chief

The Duke City leapt 72 spots from its 2020 ranking, landing at No. 89 as a “Tier 3” city.

The report, designed to help the public and private sectors evaluate and compare cities throughout the nation, is especially useful for real estate agents, job recruiters and site selectors.

Albuquerque's highest rankings in the report came in wage growth from 2018 to 2019, where it ranked No. 31 among large cities, and in 12-month job growth, where it ranked 33rd.

The city’s lowest rankings came in high-tech GDP from 2014 to 2019, where it ranked 182nd, and broadband access, where it ranked 177th. Albuquerque’s total gross domestic product was $44.6 billion in 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Only Wichita, Kansas, and Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania, made bigger gains than Albuquerque in the large cities group on the Milken report.

Santa Fe ranked 103rd among small cities in the report, which was also a large jump from its 2020 ranking of 166. Las Cruces ranked 96th among small cities in the Milken report, and Farmington ranked 200th.

Milken, a nonprofit think tank, emphasized jobs, wages, and high-tech growth in this year’s index. The organization also incorporated new measures of housing affordability and household broadband access.

Cities where multiple industries drive the pace of technological change will be more likely to demonstrate resilience in response to unprecedented economic upheaval like the pandemic, Milken noted. And cities with higher levels of inclusion are more likely to provide a foundation that attracts more companies and workers — especially those that prioritize quality of life.

Provo, Utah, ranked No. 1 among large cities in Milken’s analysis, followed by Palm Bay, Florida; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina.


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