Texas and Florida get all the headlines as having the cities with the most desirable places to live because of thriving economies and states, progressive governors and favorable tax laws.

Almost every week there’s a new story about another big business or brand that packed up and headed out of New York or California for a better chance at success.

But according to the Milken Institute, who released their Best-Performing Cities Index, the state of Utah holds its own when it comes to rankings on this list, which took information  jobs, wages, high-tech growth, broadband access and affordability of housing. 

The pandemic did all it could to influence this list, like it’s affected almost every aspect of daily life for most Americans, and it might have looked a bit different if 2020 had been more of a normal year.  The Milken list reflects the cities that have handled economic adversity the best.  

The Best-Performing Cities list measures economic vitality in big cities. They only looked at 200 of the large metro areas, with populations of at least 300,000. 

Surprisingly, the top city on the list was not Austin, Texas or a city in Florida. And kudos to the state of Utah, who had more cities represented in the top-10 than Texas or Florida combined. 

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida
  3. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
  6. Boise, Idaho
  7. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler-Scottsdale, Arizona
  8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfeesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
  9. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
  10. Huntsville, Alabama

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