The Charleston and North Charleston areas are expanding at a rapid pace, which has set these areas apart from other medium-sized cities as the eighth-most “dynamic” economies in the nation. The Walton Family Foundation conducted “The Most Dynamic Metropolitans” research to rank the economic performance of metropolitan areas in the Heartland and across the country.

Charleston Region Strives to Expand Economies to Join Ranks of Biggest U.S. Metro Areas

Charleston’s ranking was for the category for metropolitan areas with between 500,000 to 1 million residents.  The area’s thriving aerospace and automotive industries played a big part in the robust local economy and drove the ranking up for the region said Ross DeVol, lead researcher of the report. Those cities ranked in the top ten have done a good job of supporting local entrepreneurs, which helps bolster the region’s economy.  DeVol said that Charleston is among the top 10 mid-size cities that seek to expand their economies to join the ranks of the biggest U.S. metro areas.

“They all aspire to be much more,” DeVol said.  “They’re at the stage where they need to fill in some of the missing gaps to get them to the next stage.”  Each metropolitan area was ranked and reviewed on performance-based metrics including job growth, income gains, and the proportion of total jobs at new businesses, which is a critical measure of entrepreneurial performance.

The other top ten cities with 500,00 to 1 million residents included:

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark-Mo
  3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  4. Boise City, Idaho
  5. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
  6. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  7. Santa Rosa, California
  8. Charleston, South Carolina
  9. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
  10. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
 Foundation Research Measured Key Data and Ranked 379 Metropolitan Areas Across the Country

The Charleston region ranked 42nd overall out of the 379 metropolitan areas evaluated in all.  Midland, Texas ranked number one in the overall ranking.  Other high performing South Carolina cities included Hilton Head region, which ranked 35th overall due to its support for entrepreneurs.  Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach ranked at number 48 out of 379 metropolitan areas.

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