Milken Institute Ranks Austin Fourth Best Performing City in 2015

Photo by John R. Rogers with Viusalist Images in Austin

Photo by John R. Rogers with Viusalist Images in Austin

Austin took the fourth spot in the Milken Institute’s annual Best Performing Cities index for 2015, down two spots from last year.

“Austin-Round Rock, Texas, remains among the Top 5 best-performing large metros at fourth place, slipping from second last year,” according to the report. “It accomplished this feat despite a couple of shocks to its economy—the plunge in oil prices that reduced exploration activity and the high value of the dollar constraining exports of electronic components and computers.”

San Jose, California took the top spot, followed by San Francisco and Provo, Utah.

“More than ever, America’s best-performing cities demonstrate what we call the innovation advantage,” Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors, said in a news release. “That is witnessed not just in ‘traditional’ technology but in the importance of software, social media and even cutting-edge health innovation.”

The Milken Institute’s index ranks cities on growth in employment, wages and technology output. San Jose reported an average annual wage of $116,000, compared to $61,500 for the nation overall. It also attracted nearly $10 billion in venture capital investment, the highest total since 2000, according to the Milken report.

Only three Texas cities, Austin, fourth, Dallas, fifth and San Antonio, 12th, made the top 25 metros this year, compared to seven last year. The decline is a result of the slowdown in the shale oil exploration and the energy economy in Texas, according to the report. California had four metro areas in the top 25 spots.

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