The Most Dynamic Micropolitans

The Most Dynamic Micropolitans

A new report from the Walton Family Foundation highlights "micropolitan" statistical areas — geographic regions comprising one or more counties with at least one city with a population of between 10,000 and 50,000 — in the United States that are thriving as well as those struggling to provide economic opportunity for their residents. Based on the Most Dynamic Micropolitan Index, which ranks 531 micropolitan areas according to indicators of economic performance and development, including job growth, wage and income gains, the share of jobs at young firms, and price parity, the report, The Most Dynamic Micropolitans (51 pages, PDF), ranked Pecos, Texas, as the most dynamic small community in America, thanks in part to an oil exploration boom enabled by advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. Rounding out the top five were Summit Park, Utah; Jackson, Wyoming; Heber, Utah; and Bozeman, Montana. The report also notes that twenty states in the middle of the country are home to 62.3 percent of the 531 micropolitan areas, but only forty-one of those are ranked in the top hundred — a disproportionately low share that underscores the challenges facing the region. 

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