Top Regions to Prosper

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) recently released a Distressed Communities Index (DCI). The report examines regions of the country that do not share the same economic growth as the rest of the country.  While stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment rates are at all-time lows, average salaries are increasing, and job growth is strong, there are still areas of the country lagging behind.

According to the report, 17% of the total U.S. population, or around 52 million Americans, live in regions that are considered distressed. To determine a city’s distress score, EIG considered several factors including poverty levels, median income, and housing vacancy rates.

Not surprisingly, the most prosperous areas are suburban and tech centers, while the most distressed regions are rural or urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and Deep South. Another similarity among the most distressed areas is a legacy of industrial activity- areas where factories have closed, shutting down opportunities for many residents.

The charts below show a sampling of the most distressed and prosperous cities in the U.S. Check out the full report, graphics and interactive maps here.

Most Distressed
Rank      City    Population    Distress Score
1      Cleveland, OH      390,580         100.0
2      Newark, NJ      279,790         98.8
3      Buffalo, NY      259,520         98.3
4      Detroit, MI      690,070         97.7
5      Toledo, OH      282,280         96.7
Most Prosperous
1      Gilbert, AZ      230,780         2.7
2      Plano, TX      275,650         5.1
3      Irvine, CA      238,470         7.0
4      Chandler, AZ      250,200         10.6
5      San Francisco, CA      840,760         19.5
Source: Economic Innovation Group. (2017) The 2017 Distressed Communities Index. [PDF file].  Retrieved from


Looking to move to these prosperous cities? Bradsby Group’s Job Page is updated regularly, with a variety of roles across the U.S.

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