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Huntsville, Daphne named among ‘Best-Performing Cities’ in America

Alabama cities Huntsville and Daphne were listed this week among the best performing cities of their size by the Milken Institute, an independent think tank.

The Milken Institute’s index of cities factored in job growth, wage growth, access to broadband, housing affordability and the degree to which a city’s economy is driven by the technology sector.

Huntsville came in at number 10 among large cities. The institute cited the Rocket City’s housing affordability and concentration of high-tech jobs as two of the top reasons for its high spot in the rankings.

Among large cities, Provo, Utah, came in first place with Palm Bay, Florida; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina rounding out the top five.

Alabama had three other cities that Milken categorized as “large” based on population: Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. The Magic City was next highest on the list, but distantly behind Huntsville, ultimately ranking at 132. Montgomery and Mobile were even farther down.

Daphne came in fifth place among small cities. The Milken Institute rankings said the Jubilee City’s wage growth and job growth were the main drivers of the city’s high ranking.

“Baldwin County’s beaches are the city’s key natural asset and, combined with the low cost of living and economic growth, the city is an attractive place to live,” noted the institute.

Alabama’s next highest ranking small city was Auburn at 17, followed by Tuscaloosa at 29.

Decatur and Dothan placed farther down on the list, at numbers 35 and 60 respectively, but were highlighted for rising quickly.

In 2020, Decatur was ranked 105 and Dothan was ranked 138, meaning each city jumped up over 100 spots in the index on a year over year basis.

The full index of America’s best-performing cities can be accessed here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.