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American cities with the highest GDP

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    American cities with the highest GDP

    While this year has been good for the U.S. economy overall, that doesn't tell the whole story. To find out where America's growth is most robust, it's essential to examine an economy's growth domestic product, or GDP, which reveals the market value of total production by people and companies within a country's, state's, or city's lines in one year. 

    Studying GDP over time is a great indicator of economic growth and the speed by which an economy is changing. GDPs can also be used in side-by-side comparisons for different locations, demonstrating where an economy is strongest or production healthiest—and where the contributions to our national GDP are highest or lowest.

    To see which American cities have the highest GDP, Stacker looked at 2017 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and U.S. Census estimates. The rankings were calculated by looking at each metro area’s current GDP, along with GDP figures per-capita, and the 2017 estimated GDP for each city. The metro areas are listed from highest to lowest current-dollar GDP per capita. Read on to see whether your city made the list—and if so, where it ranks.

    ALSO: Best cities for young professionals

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    #50. Carson City, NV

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $3,545,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 54,745

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $64,754.77

    The government is Carson City’s biggest employer, and includes the Carson City School District and the City of Carson. Other major employers throughout the metropolis are Walmart Supercenter and Costco. The latest set of statistics available, July 2018, shows the unemployment rate of 4.3% was higher than the national average of 3.9%.

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    #49. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $37,182,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 571,903

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $65,014.52

    Cumberland County is home to employers like Pfizer, Rite Aid, and Unilever. The cost of living is 1.3% higher than the national average.

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    #48. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $385,542,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 5,884,736

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $65,515.60

    Twenty-six companies headquartered in Atlanta are in the 2018 Fortune 1000, and 15 are also ranked in the Fortune 500. Some of the best-known are Delta Air lines, The Home Depot, and The Coca-Cola Company. Key industries include technology, bioscience, and supply chain and manufacturing.

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    #47. Columbus, OH

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $136,296,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,078,725

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $65,567.11

    The economy in Columbus is balanced between leading employers in government, technology, healthcare, insurance, education, and research. In addition to Ohio State University, the federal government, and the State of Ohio, major employers include JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance, and Honda of America.

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    #46. Bloomington, IL

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $12,370,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 188,232

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $65,716.78

    Bloomington's top employers include State Farm Insurance, Illinois State University, and COUNTRY Financial. The latest statistics show unemployment hovering at 4.2%, several ticks higher than the national average of 3.9%.

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    #45. Baton Rouge, LA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $54,988,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 834,159

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $65,920.29

    Private companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Turner Industries Group, and Performance Contractors are key to Baton Rouge's local economy. The city is one of the nation’s least-expensive places to do business, according to KPMG’s “Competitive Alternatives” guide to business costs.

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    #44. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $105,427,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 1,576,236

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $66,885.29

    The economy here is fueled by healthcare, with top employers like Aurora Health Care, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and Froedtert & Community Health. At mid-year, a strong majority of metro area businesses saw growth in sales, profits, and employment for 2018.

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    #43. Fargo, ND-MN

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $16,279,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 241,356

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $67,448.08

    While its economy has historically depended on agriculture, Fargo has diversified in recent years. The city today enjoys an array of industries that are thriving, including technology, manufacturing, financial services, back-office operations, healthcare, and education. Key employers include Microsoft Business Solutions, Bobcat Co., and John Deere Electronic Solutions. The metropolitan area boasted an unemployment rate of just 2.1% in August of 2018.

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    #42. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $138,980,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,058,844

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $67,503.90

    Cleveland has come a long way since being the first city after the Great Depression to default on its debts in 1978. The city has made significant strides to improve its economy since getting out of default in 1987; however, the city's average hourly wages ($23.52) are slightly lower than the national average of $24.32. Top employers in Cleveland include Sherwin-Williams, Parker Hannifin, and Applied Industrial Technologies.

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    #41. Urban Honolulu, HI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $67,495,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 988,650

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $68,269.86

    The largest industries in urban Honolulu include accommodation and food service, healthcare and social assistance, and retail. There are plenty of jobs here—the unemployment rate is well below the national average. But before you pack your bags for this city's sunny shores, keep in mind the cost of such a seemingly idyllic location: The cost of living in Honolulu is a whopping 88% higher than the national average.

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    #40. Cedar Rapids, IA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $18,464,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 270,293

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $68,311.06

    Cedar Rapids was one of only two Iowa cities to see a decline in GDP in 2017, attributed mainly to slumps in finance, insurance, and real estate sectors. On the bright side, Cedar Rapids' latest unemployment numbers sit at just 2.7%, almost half to the national average of 3.9%.

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    #39. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $192,178,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,808,175

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $68,435.19

    Employers such as the Social Security Administration, University System of Maryland, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services help anchor the economy. The latest statistics show an unemployment rate of 4.6% compared to the national average of 3.9%.

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    #38. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $174,029,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,525,305

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $68,914.05

    Financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and retail are among the chief sectors in Charlotte. The local economy will get a boost from Amazon, which recently announced the opening of a new distribution center in the area that will create 1,500 jobs and more than $200 million in capital investment.

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    #37. Manchester-Nashua, NH

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $28,443,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 409,697

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $69,424.48

    The Manchester-Nashua economy is buoyed by utilities, finance and insurance, and retail. The latest data available shows households' median annual income of $54,899—just slightly less than the U.S. median annual income of $55,322.

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    #36. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $231,845,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 3,337,685

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $69,462.82

    Second-quarter venture capital investment in this region in 2018 increased 69% over the first. Compared with the same period one year ago, investment in the region more than doubled. Top employers include the County of San Diego, the United States Navy, City of San Diego, Scripps Health, and Sharp Healthcare.
     

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    #35. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $65,053,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 933,316

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $69,700.94

    The cost of living in Omaha was ranked 95.1 out of 100, making it one of just three Nebraska cities to fall below the national average and offer such affordability to its residents. The latest statistics available show an unemployment rate of 3.1%, almost a full percentage point lower than the national average.

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    #34. Anchorage, AK

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $27,963,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 400,888

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $69,752.65

    The major economic sectors for Anchorage are transportation, military, oil and gas, local and federal government, and convention and tourism. Finance, construction, education, and healthcare are also significant contributors. Key employers include Ted Stevens International Airport, Providence Alaska Medical Center & Hospital System, Fort Richardson U.S. Army Base, Teleco Telephone, and the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

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    #33. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $133,251,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 1,903,045

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $70,019.89

    The cost of living in the greater Nashville area is below the national average of 100, at 96.7. In 2017, U.S. employment grew 1.4% while Nashville's grew 3.5%—the highest growth rate for large metros. Management, information, administration, and professional and technical services are all huge parts of the healthy economy, as are retail, insurance, and real estate.  

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    #32. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $171,772,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,453,168

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $70,020.48

    The latest data shows this area’s unemployment rate is 3.8%, just about even with the nation. The Portland area’s median household income now ranks 16th-highest among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions.

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    #31. Austin-Round Rock, TX

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $148,750,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,115,827

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $70,303.48

    Austin is the eighth-fastest growing economy among the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. In August of 2018, it had a 3% unemployment rate—the fourth-lowest among the 50 largest metro areas.

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    #30. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $143,873,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,028,614

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $70,921.82

    The 2018 outlook for the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area economy is strong, with job growth in the region among the strongest in the state. Unemployment continues to fall in central Indiana, with IU Health University Hospital, St. Vincent Emergency Department, Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, and IUPUI leading in employment.

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    #29. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $490,074,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 6,892,427

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $71,103.26

    Houston is home to mega-employers like Houston Methodist, Walmart, Kroger, Shell Oil, and Dow Chemical. Three factors primarily contribute to Houston’s economic growth: the health of the oil and gas industry, expansion of the U.S. economy, and Houston’s ability to sell goods and services overseas.

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    #28. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $679,699,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 9,533,040

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $71,299.29

    Chicago has one of the most diverse economies in the U.S. The area is home to a broad range of companies, including risk management innovation, manufacturing, information technology, health services, and more. Amazon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., University of Chicago, and AT&T are leading in employment throughout the city.

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    #27. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $260,106,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 3,600,618

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $72,239.27

    Minneapolis is growing at its fastest rate since 1950. Top companies include Target, Hennepin County Medical Center, Capella Education, and Thrivent.

     

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    #26. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $208,868,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 2,888,227

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $72,317.03

    Denver is booming, thanks to its bioscience, aviation, aerospace, and energy sectors, among others. Denver ranks fifth in economic growth among large cities in the United States.

     

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    #25. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $535,499,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 7,399,662

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $72,368.04

    Dallas-Fort Worth’s unemployment rate has been below 4% for nearly a year and a half. Companies like AMR Corporation (American Airlines), Bank of America, Baylor Health Care System, and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics are all major employers there.

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    #24. Salt Lake City, UT

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $87,801,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 1,203,105

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $72,978.67

    Utah’s overall economy remains strong, with 43,500 new jobs added in 2017. The state’s annual employment growth rate of 3.1 percent is on par with its long-term average, among the highest in the nation. Once dependent on farming and mining, today Salt Lake City's growth is driven by its service-oriented economy and growing tech sector.

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    #23. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $444,975,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 6,096,120

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $72,993.15

    For the second year in a row, Philadelphia’s job growth outpaced the rest of the nation’s. Philadelphia saw a 2.3% increase in jobs in 2017, compared to just 1.6% across the U.S. The 5.7% unemployment rate is well above the national rate.

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    #22. Columbus, IN

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $6,044,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 82,040

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $73,671.38

    Companies like Cummins Inc., Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, and Cosco Home & Office Products call Columbus home. In August of 2018, the unemployment rate was at just 2.8%, more than a full percentage point lower than the national average.


     

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    #21. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $90,318,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 1,210,259

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $74,627.00

    Hartford’s economy is fueled by employers like the State of Connecticut, Travelers and Eversource Energy, and Aetna. The unemployment rate in July of 2018 was 4.5%.

     

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    #20. Sioux Falls, SD

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $19,700,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 259,094

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $76,034.18

    Sioux Falls is growing fast—and with a bustling arts scene, 2.1% unemployment rate, and gorgeous waterfall flowing just outside of downtown, it's not hard to see why. Major employers in Sioux Falls include Wells Fargo, Citi, Sanford Health, and Smithfield Foods.

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    #19. Midland, MI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $6,355,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 83,411

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $76,188.99

    Midland is growing in leaps and bounds, with low median home costs, lower costs of living, and a bustling job market. Major employers include Dow Chemical, MidMichigan Health, and Midland Public Schools. The unemployment rate comes in at just 4.4%, slightly above the national average.

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    #18. Madison, WI

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $49,853,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 654,230

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $76,201.03

    The economy of Wisconsin, in general, may be middling amidst other states in the U.S.—but Madison is a different story entirely, with one of the best economies in the country. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, American Family Insurance, and UW Health help keep the economy buzzing in this chilly metro area, while unemployment sits at just 2.4%.

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    #17. Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $43,474,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 567,428

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $76,615.89

    Durham has attracted more than $2.28 billion in economic development growth since 2008, creating more than 6,000 new jobs. Durham reinvented itself from an economy dependent on tobacco and textile products to the home of companies like GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, and Cree.

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    #16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $1,043,735,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 13,353,907

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $78,159.52

    Los Angeles’ leading employers include the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, Kaiser Permanente, Northrop Grumman, and Target Corporation. The unemployment rate of 5.1% in July of 2018 was above the national average.


     

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    #15. Boulder, CO

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $25,274,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 322,514

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $78,365.59

    Aerospace, bioscience, cleantech, IT/software, natural products, and outdoor recreation make up the backbone of Boulder’s robust economy. Major employers include Array BioPharma, Boulder Brands, Boulder Community Health, Medtronic and Rally Software.


     

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    #14. Casper, WY

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $6,294,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 79,547

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $79,123.03

    Year‐to‐date home sales volume continued to outpace 2017 in the Casper housing market, while home prices—despite some declines in the first six months—rebounded in 2018. Major employers include Natrona County School District #1, Wyoming Medical Center, The Industrial Company, Key Energy, and the City of Casper.

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    #13. Trenton, NJ

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $29,987,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 374,733

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $80,022.31

    Trenton’s economy is buoyed by employers like Capital Health Systems, Cenlar Capital Corporation, New Jersey Education Association, Congoleum Corporation, and the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency. Key industries in Trenton include government, healthcare, professional business services, education, trade transportation, and utilities. Financial activities, leisure and hospitality, social assistance, and manufacturing also play important roles.

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    #12. Napa, CA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $11,446,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 140,973

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $81,192.85

    Napa’s major employers include the City of Napa, Napa Valley Unified School District, Queen of the Valley Hospital, County of Napa, Meritage Resort and Spa, and Napa Valley College. The projected job growth between 2017-2022 is 5.4%, and the fastest-growing job sector is projected to be professional services.

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    #11. Lake Charles, LA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $17,319,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 209,357

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $82,724.72

    The accolades keep coming for Lake Charles. Business Facilities magazine ranked the #1 mid-sized metro region for job growth in the nation. Southern Business and Development magazine named Lake Charles as its small market of the year, for the eighth consecutive year.
     

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    #10. Elkhart-Goshen, IN

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $17,132,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 205,032

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $83,557.69

    The top sectors in this metro area include manufacturing, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, educational services, accommodation and food services, and administrative and waste services. The town’s top employers are Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Norfolk Southern, University of Notre Dame, Memorial Hospital-South Bend, Always In Stone Monument Co., and LSC Communications.

     

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    #9. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $1,717,712,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 20,320,876

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $84,529.43

    New York City’s biggest companies include JP Morgan Chase & Co., ABM Industries, Citi, Pfizer, and Philip Morris International. Leading economic indicators were mixed, but continued expansion is assumed. The most recent report from ISM-New York, Inc. shows that the business conditions in New York City metro area improved in Q2 2018 over Q1 2018.


     

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    #8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $529,990,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 6,216,589

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $85,254.15

    Washington, D.C.’s economy is fueled by employers like Fairfax County Public Schools, the government of the District of Columbia, Montgomery County Public Schools, and MedStar Health. More than 100 academic institutions operate programs and degrees in the region, which help attract, educate, and retain talent. The area is also home to 1,000 internationally owned companies.

     

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    #7. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $57,151,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 645,911

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $88,481.23

    Des Moines' economy is expected to grow 2.5% from 2019 to 2020, with jobs up 1.9%. Key industries include financial services, insurance, government, manufacturing, trade, and service.

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    #6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $438,684,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 4,836,531

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $90,702.20

    Boston’s economy is buoyed by businesses like Partners HealthCare, the University of Massachusetts, and Steward Health Care System. With a steady job boom, the unemployment rate in July of 2018 sat at 3.6%.

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    #5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $356,572,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 3,867,046

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $92,207.85

    Seattle boasts big-name companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, The Boeing Co., and Nordstrom. The unemployment rate of  3.8% is below the national average.

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    #4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $98,256,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 949,921

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $103,435.97

    The unemployment rate in Bridgeport in August of 2018 was 6.1%, higher than the national average.

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    #3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $500,710,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 4,727,357

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $105,917.53

    San Francisco’s economic strength comes from employers like California Pacific Medical  Center, Bechtel, Ernst & Young, Federal Reserve Bank, Golden Gate University, and the California Pacific Medical Center. Top industries include IT and software, social and digital media, life sciences and biotech, environmental and cleantech, professional services, and international business. The unemployment rate in July of 2018 was 2.5%, lower than the national average.

     

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    #2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $275,293,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 1,998,463

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $137,752.36

    Silicon Valley’s tech economy is pumped up by companies like Apple, Alphabet, Intel, and Cisco. A surge in Bay Area technology and healthcare jobs has helped to power the region’s economic output substantially since 2014. If the metro area were its own nation, it would command the 19th-largest economy in the world, according to the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute.

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    #1. Midland, TX

    2017 current-dollar GDP: $27,819,000,000

    2017 metro estimated population: 170,675

    Current-dollar GDP per capita: $162,993.99

    The oil and gas industry is key to Midland’s diverse economy, which represents the American city with the highest GDP. The success of the metropolis—with an unemployment rate of just 2.2%—is also owed to critical roles by aerospace, ranching and agriculture, healthcare, retirement, and transportation. Midland’s retail service sector is regionally based, and national chain-dominated.

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