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Summary of metropolitan economies for 1989; the most growth was seen in the 'edge cities', where cattle once grazed.
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In this year's ranking of metropolitan economies, growth is in the 'edge cities'

This year's Metro Report reflects the old saw that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Those areas at the top of the list -- #1 Manchester-Nashua, N.H., #2 Orlando, and #3 West Palm Beach, Fla. -- are becoming "usual suspects" in our annual surveys of fastest-growing regions. And at the bottom of the list, past losers reappear -- such hard-hit Oil Patch towns as #184 Oklahoma City, #189 Shreveport, La., and #191 Odessa-Midland, Tex.

There are some patterns among the big gainers. One amusing note is the resurgence of gambling towns across the country. The three gaming cities all shot sevens this year -- #31 Reno, Nev., up from #73, #46 Atlantic City, N.J., up from #118, and Las Vegas, which rose from a respectable #27 to this year's #6.

But Las Vegas's rise, in particular, stems from something far more important than the appeal of easy money. As part of a greater trend, the U.S. economy is moving to places where, only a few years ago, cattle grazed or cactus grew. From New England to southern California, entrepreneurs are clustering in suburban subdivisions and satellite cities rather than in the teeming traditional downtowns.

"America is going through the biggest change in urban life in more than 100 years," notes Joel Garreau, a senior writer on urban affairs at The Washington Post. "Instead of simply living out in the suburbs and working in the city, where he has to deal with crime and drugs, the entrepreneur now goes out and builds his business where he lives."

With its relatively small center city and its numerous, expanding suburban clusters, Los Angeles (#59) epitomizes Garreau's concept of the "edge city." It challenges megalopolitan rivals New York City (#108) and Chicago (#119) with its diverse and vital entrepreneurial economy (see "I Love L.A.," March 1989, [Article link]). More impressive still has been the growth in Los Angeles's numerous satellite towns, such as Anaheim (#8), Riverside-San Bernadino (#12), and Ventura (#27), all of which have become significant economic regions in their own right.

This edge-city pattern is not restricted to southern California, however. Some of the fastest-growing major metropolitan areas on our 1989 list -- Orlando (#2), Washington, D.C. (#5), and Atlanta (#7) -- mirror the Los Angeles pattern. Much of their new growth takes place in suburban, industrial, and business districts. In the booming Washington area, for instance, once sleepy Tysons, Va., has grown into a city with the largest downtown in the state, and nearby Rockville-Gaithersburg, Md., now boasts more office space than downtown Baltimore. These emerging cities rely on the automobile, and their populations swell during the day with numerous commuters.

Top cities on our list that have developed as satellites of a larger dynamic region include Manchester-Nashua and Portsmouth (#9), N.H. They are essentially edge cities of Boston (#53), itself a vigorous metropolitan area.

These edge cities tend to be located close to excellent highways and major airports, facilities as important today as railroad hubs were to the core cities of the last century. Good schools, low crime rates, the availability of housing, and business-oriented local governments also contribute to the suburban appeal.

Another, perhaps less obvious, lure may lie in the basically unsettled nature of life on the suburban edge. "It's a place where the whole culture is 'Fix it first and deal with the consequences later,' " points out Garreau. "The people who like the status quo stay downtown where the old elites are. People who are out there redefining themselves, like entrepreneurs, are attracted to places that are new, where things are more flexible."

(continued)


METRO RANKING

1989 Rank/Area/1988 Rank

1. Manchester-Nashua, NH (2)

2. Orlando, FL (3)

3. West Palm Beach, FL (NR)

4. Raleigh-Durham, NC (6)

5. Washington, DC (8)

6. Las Vegas, NV (27)

7. Atlanta, GA (5)

8. Anaheim, CA (NR)

9. Portsmouth, NH (13)

10. Phoenix, AZ (4)

11. San Diego, CA (10)

12. Riverside-San Bernadino, CA (NR)

13. San Jose, CA (NR)

14. Ft. Myers, FL (17)

15. Nashville, TN (11)

16. Jacksonville, FL (22)

17. Austin, TX (1)

18. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA (20)

19. Charleston, SC (19)

20. Columbia, SC (45)

21. Ft. Pierce, FL (NR)

22. Huntsville, AL (7)

23. Panama City-Ft. Walton Beach, FL (NR)

24. Lexington, KY (47)

25. Tucson, AZ (12)

26. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (9)

27. Ventura, CA (NR)

28. Burlington-Montpelier, VT (NR)

29. Charlotte, NC (32)

30. Richmond, VA (25)

31. Reno, NV (73)

32. Indianapolis, IN (35)

33. Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL (15)

34. Sarasota, FL (29)

35. Baltimore, MD (24)

36. Wilmington-Jacksonville, NC (NR)

37. Columbus, OH (31)

38. Gainesville, FL (NR)

39. Portland, ME (37)

40. El Paso, TX (26)

41. Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC (28)

42. Wilmington, DE (36)

43. Seattle, WA (40)

44. South Bend, IN (18)

45. Ft. Wayne, IN (38)

46. Atlantic City, NJ (118)

47. Montgomery, AL (81)

48. Pensacola, FL (16)

49. Sacramento, CA (46)

50. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (34)

51. Lancaster, PA (57)

52. Ft. Smith-Fayetteville, AR (39)

53. Boston, MA (23)

54. Birmingham, AL (64)

55. San Antonio, TX (21)

56. Melbourne-Titusville, FL (48)

57. Memphis, TN (30)

58. Grand Rapids, MI (51)

59. Los Angeles, CA (33)

60. Albuquerque, NM (14)

61. Tallahassee, FL (42)

62. Knoxville, TN (65)

63. Miami, FL (41)

64. Worcester, MA (55)

65. Savannah, GA (53)

66. Bridgeport-Stamford, CT (58)

67. Stockton-Modesto, CA (80)

68. Wichita, KS (102)

69. Metro New York (NJ), NJ (NR)

70. Monterrey, CA (101)

71. Louisville, KY (100)

72. Lincoln, NB (69)

73. Jackson, MS (70)

74. Philadelphia, PA (49)

75. Madison, WI (82)

76. Hickory, NC (NR)

77. Springfield, MO (93)

78. York, PA (104)

79. Salt Lake City, UT (56)

80. Daytona Beach, FL (59)

81. Harrisburg, PA (113)

82. New Haven, CT (68)

83. Rochester, NY (90)

84. Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (74)

85. Hartford, CT (96)

86. Kansas City, MO (54)

87. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL (108)

88. San Francisco-Oakland, CA (44)

89. Detroit, MI (50)

90. Cincinnati, OH (61)

91. Albany, NY (66)

92. Sioux Falls, SD (NR)

93. Honolulu, HI (83)

94. Denver-Boulder, CO (52)

95. Boise, ID (85)

96. Chattanooga, TN (105)

97. Augusta, GA (62)

98. Syracuse, NY (112)

99. Toledo, OH (75)

100. Green Bay, WI (111)

101. Mobile, AL (114)

102. Portland, OR (87)

103. Omaha, NB (76)

104. Roanoke, VA (97)

105. Macon, GA (60)

106. Long Island, NY (NR)

107. Dayton, OH (71)

108. New York, NY (79)

109. Santa Barbara, CA (43)

110. Colorado Springs, CO (63)

111. St. Louis, MO (84)

112. Poughkeepsie, NY (NR)

113. Lansing, MI (67)

114. Metro New York (NY), NY (NR)

115. Fargo, ND (NR)

116. Binghamton, NY (115)

117. Asheville, NC (NR)

118. Providence, RI (103)

119. Chicago, IL (95)

120. Eugene, OR (121)

121. Milwaukee, WI (109)

122. Baton Rouge, LA (88)

123. Waco-Killeen, TX (99)

124. Des Moines, IA (130)

125. Erie, PA (138)

126. Houston-Galveston, TX (92)

127. Biloxi, MS (NR)

128. Rockford, IL (98)

129. Fresno, CA (120)

130. Battle Creek-Kalamazoo, MI (110)

131. Youngstown, OH (124)

132. Cedar Rapids, IA (117)

133. New London, CT (91)

134. Cleveland-Akron, OH (106)

135. Lima, OH (NR)

136. Bloomington-Champaign, IL (119)

137. Little Rock, AR (72)

138. Johnson City-Kingsport, TN (141)

139. Pittsburgh, PA (131)

140. Buffalo, NY (127)

141. Fayetteville, NC (NR)

142. Anniston-Gadsden, AL (NR)

143. Topeka-Lawrence, KS (78)

144. Springfield, MA (116)

145. Pittsfield, MA (122)

146. Williamsport-State College, PA (NR)

147. Salem, OR (NR)

148. Allentown, PA (134)

149. Spokane, WA (107)

150. New Bedford-Fall River, MA (94)

151. Bakersfield, CA (123)

152. Tacoma, WA (125)

153. Reading, PA (149)

154. Flint, MI (86)

155. Scranton-Wilkes Barre, PA (135)

156. Visalia, CA (NR)

157. Ft. Collins, CO (NR)

158. Columbus, GA (140)

159. Evansville, IN (128)

160. Johnstown-Altoona, PA (126)

161. Huntington, WV (148)

162. Terre Haute, IN (NR)

163. Canton, OH (152)

164. Saginaw-Bay City, MI (89)

165. Rochester, MN (NR)

166. Springfield, IL (146)

167. Charleston, WV (147)

168. Brownsville, TX (132)

169. Tulsa, OK (133)

170. Longview, TX (136)

171. Lafayette, IN (NR)

172. Peoria, IL (153)

173. Utica-Rome, NY (145)

174. Anchorage, AK (NR)

175. New Orleans, LA (137)

176. Wichita Falls, TX (NR)

177. Davenport-Rock Island, IL (150)

178. Monroe, LA (NR)

179. Duluth, MN (154)

180. Anderson-Muncie, IN (NR)

181. Lubbock, TX (144)

182. Lynchburg, VA (NR)

183. Beaumont, TX (142)

184. Oklahoma City, OK (151)

185. Corpus Christi, TX (129)

186. Yakima-Richland, WA (NR)

187. Amarillo, TX (143)

188. Lafayette, LA (155)

189. Shreveport, LA (139)

190. Wheeling, WV (NR)

191. Odessa-Midland, TX (156)


METRO RANKING/THE TOP 50

% of Fast-

Growth Business Growing

1989 Rank/Area in Jobs Birthrate Companies

1. Manchester-Nashua, NH 27.1% 3.31% 7.01%

2. Orlando, FL 35.2 4.41 4.13

3. West Palm Beach, FL 27.2 4.49 3.93

4. Raleigh-Durham, NC 24.1 3.82 4.98

5. Washington, DC 25.7 3.58 5.08

6. Las Vegas, NV 30.3 4.32 3.32

7. Atlanta, GA 22.6 4.03 4.53

8. Anaheim, CA 22.2 4.21 4.1

9. Portsmouth-Dover, NH 32.4 2.96 5.07

10. Phoenix, AZ 24.5 3.70 4.46

11. San Diego, CA 27.6 3.62 4.25

12. Riverside- 35.1 3.48 3.31

San Bernadino, CA

13. San Jose, CA 7.6 3.52 5.75

14. Ft. Myers, FL 34.1 3.43 2.97

15. Nashville, TN 18.4 3.63 4.18

16. Jacksonville, FL 26.4 3.36 3.66

17. Austin, TX 11.2 4.34 3.51

18. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA 25.4 3.29 3.68

% of Fast-

Growth Business Growing

1989 Rank/Area in Jobs Birthrate Companies

19. Charleston, SC 21.4 3.90 2.91

20. Columbia, SC 19.2 3.29 4.17

21. Ft. Pierce, FL 32.7 3.19 2.84

22. Huntsville, AL 28.0 3.61 2.59

23. Panama City- 28.0 3.44 2.71

Ft. Walton Beach, FL

24. Lexington, KY 17.7 3.39 3.57

25. Tucson, AZ 15.9 3.35 3.80

26. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 13.1 3.80 3.30

27. Ventura, CA 24.4 3.08 3.32

28. Burlington- 23.1 2.78 3.94

Montpelier, VT

29. Charlotte, NC 23.0 2.91 3.70

30. Richmond, VA 21.0 2.68 4.25

31. Reno, NV 25.8 2.89 3.36

32. Indianapolis, IN 22.2 2.67 4.10

33. Tampa- 20.8 3.21 3.30

St. Petersburg, FL

34. Sarasota, FL 26.8 2.92 3.10

% of Fast-

Growth Business Growing

1989 Rank/Area in Jobs Birthrate Companies

35. Baltimore, MD 14.1 3.05 4.14

36. Wilmington- 21.9 3.20 3.01

Jacksonville, NC

37. Columbus, OH 22.5 2.62 3.92

38. Gainesville, FL 29.3 2.49 3.37

39. Portland, ME 23.0 2.37 4.24

40. El Paso, TX 11.2 3.71 3.15

41. Greensboro- 15.4 2.72 4.35

Winston Salem, NC

% of Fast-

Growth Business Growing

1989 Rank/Area in Jobs Birthrate Companies

42. Wilmington, DE 21.8 2.48 4.01

43. Seattle, WA 25.9 2.45 3.61

44. South Bend, IN 19.3 2.57 4.01

45. Ft. Wayne, IN 30.7 2.14 3.42

46. Atlantic City, NJ 44.5 1.86 2.38

47. Montgomery, AL 16.5 3.04 3.27

48. Pensacola, FL 16.9 2.74 3.72

49. Sacramento, CA 28.8 2.44 2.96

50. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 17.7 2.44 4.11

Among the top metropolitan areas on our list, growth in jobs is related to the number of young, fast-growing companies.


HOW THE CITIES WERE RANKED

Our third annual report on metropolitan areas is based on three factors: job generation, rate of significant new business start-ups, and the percentage of young companies enjoying high growth rates. For each factor, each metropolitan area was assigned a score from 1 to 33.33, reflecting its relative standing among cities in the United States. The overall rank of a city was based on the sum of the three scores.

Metropolitan areas were defined as counties or groups of counties closely related by commuting patterns. In general, a densely settled suburban community was grouped with an urban county if 15% of its residents reported working in the city. This year, to make our report more comprehensive, we have added 35 newly defined metropolitan areas. These additions should be taken into account when comparing a city's 1988 rank with the 1989 rank.

The rate of significant business births was derived by dividing the total number of business enterprises in an area by the number founded since January 1984 that had 10 or more employees by July 1988. The number of high-growth companies was figured as a percentage of all companies founded between January 1980 and January 1984. For each company, an index was calculated by multiplying its absolute growth in employment between January 1984 and July 1988 by its percentage of employee growth during the same period. Companies with an index of 20 or higher were classified as high growth. Employment figures measure the change in private nonagricultural and civilian public-sector employment between January 1984 and July 1988.

Data on companies were compiled by Cognetics Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting firm. Job data were supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Woods & Poole Economics Inc., a research firm in Washington, D.C.

The ranking was prepared under the direction of special projects editor Sara Baer-Sinnott.

Last updated: Mar 1, 1989




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