On Friday I attended a forum on the business vitality of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Most of the indicators are good.
In its peer group -- which Greater MSP and the Minneapolic Chamber consider to be Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, San Diego and Seattle -- MSP ranks second for Fortune 500 companies, economic competitiveness and a low unemployment rate.
The Minnesota tax climate is ninth out of ten, according to the Business Vitality Index, and venture capital and small business vitality don't rank well either. The Twin Cities are also tenth in the group when it comes to income inequality. Still, quality of life is tops here by five measures, and there's lots for the Twin Cities to feel good about.
I can't find the documents online to link to them, but one thing that was interesting to me was the peer group that the chamber and Greater MSP selected. Here are the GDP rankings for the 10 cities from 2012, which is the most recent year for which we have city-level GDP data.
Clearly Chicago shouldn't be in the peer group. It's way bigger than the others. But the ranking gives a good picture of where MSP sits in the universe of large cities in the country -- right in there below Boston and Seattle, but above San Diego and Denver. I'm not sure Raleigh deserves to be in the group.
Per capita GDP is one of the key measures used in the index, so I ran the stats and tried to figure out the rate of growth in each of the 10 cities, in real per capita GDP. In other words, how fast is each city growing its GDP per capita?
As you can see, Portland is cruising, as are Austin and Seattle and Boston. Pittsburgh looks strong in the past three years too.
You can slice the numbers yourself here, if you're interested. The 2013 GDP data will come out on June 11, I believe. We'll have plenty more to look at then.