Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 292 of the nation's 381 metropolitan areas in 2013. Leading the pack was the greater Houston area, with greater San Jose, Calif., coming in second.

According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, growth was spurred on by gains in several markets, including finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, nondurable-goods manufacturing and professional business services. 

According to CityLab, although 173 metro areas saw economic growth above the 1.7 percent average, 86 cities, or 23 percent of all U.S. metros, saw economic declines. The top 10 performers were:

Rank Metro area Percent Change from 2012
1 Houston 5.2
2 San Jose, Calif. 4.4
3 Denver 4.3
4 Raleigh, N.C. 4.1
5 Oklahoma City 3.9
6 Charlotte, N.C. 3.7
7 Indianapolis 3.4
8 Columbus, Ohio 3.3
9 San Antonio 2.8
10 Riverside, Calif. 2.8

The 10 metros developing the least were:

Rank Metro Area Percent change from 2012
42 Cleveland 0.5
43 Milwaukee 0.5
44 Philadelphia 0.4
45 Buffalo, N.Y. 0.4
46 Virginia Beach, Va. 0.2
47 St. Louis 0.1
48 Memphis, Tenn. -0.1
49 Louisville, Ky. -0.1
50 Birmingham, Ala. -0.8
51 Washington D.C. -0.8

CityLab reports tech and energy hubs seemed to thrive in 2013, with energy hub Huston performing the best, and silicon valley’s lynchpin San Jose coming in second. Tech hubs Denver and Raleigh also performed well, with green energy-driven Oklahoma City rounding out the list. Click here for more information on Oklahoma City’s green energy initiatives.

The top seven large metros all registered growth rates more than double the national average. However, City Lab reports the slowest growth was seen in metro areas with older, more industrial economies such as Louisville, Ky., Birmingham, Ala., St. Louis, Buffalo, N.Y., Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Cleveland. 

The three largest U.S. Metro areas, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, all saw lackluster growth – 1.0 percent, 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. 

For more information on economic development, read the full report


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