This is a PowerPoint presentation that played while DollarWise: Mayors for Financial Literacy, USCM’s national financial education campaign, presented a total of $50,000 in grant money to seven cities across the United States. Innovation Grants for $15,000 each were awarded to Atlanta and Schenectady, New York. In addition, grants of $4,000 each were awarded to Albuquerque; Charlotte; East Orange, New Jersey; Memphis; and Tallahassee, Florida, to support incorporating financial education in summer youth employment programs. The awards were presented by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is currently the mayor of Baltimore and the president of USCM, and Stephen B. Fitzgerald, a senior vice president at Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
A week ago Monday, The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) concluded its 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco. By all accounts, it was a successful meeting that garnered considerable attention in the national media as the nation’s mayors pushed forward their agenda to make America’s cities better places to live and economically competitive with their global peers in partnership with the federal government. Among the guest speakers were former senator and Secretary of State and current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Nancy Pelosi, majority leader in the U.S. House, whose district covers the meeting’s host city; U.S. president Barack Obama; and, perhaps most importantly, musicians Carlos Santana and M.C. Hammer. (No, USCM and the nation’s mayors don’t fool around.)
Specifically, I updated the charts that accompanied the latest Metro Economies Report (PDF), released on Friday, 19 June. This is the latest in the flagship Metro Economies series that highlights the contributions of metropolitan areas to the nation’s economy. As these charts highlight, nearly 91% of the nation’s GDP is produced in metro areas; of the new jobs and growth in GDP produced last year, fully 94% and 95%, respectively, was generated in metros.
The full charts, which include the innovative dashboard I introduced last year, as well as comparisons of metro economies with national and state economies and a list of the top 100 metro economies, are below.
Did you know that the New York metro area’s economic output is larger than the GDP of all but 13 nations—bigger than countries such as Spain, South Korea, and Mexico, Turkey, and The Netherlands—and will top a whopping $1.5 trillion by 2015? (That’s trillion, with a t!) Or that over one-third of the world’s 100 largest economies would be U.S. metro areas, if metro areas were nations? Or that 90% of U.S. GDP is produced in the nation’s urban regions?
In short, U.S. metro areas are economic powerhouses—the engines that power the largest economy on earth.
America’s urban areas are the engines that power the most prosperous economy on earth.
The Metro Economies Reports are issued two or three times a year. The latest one was released just last Friday, 20 June 2014, at USCM’s annual meeting in Dallas. The report’s findings on the performance and resilience of our metro areas were, as usual, impressive:
Among the 100 largest metro areas, the largest increases in gross metropolitan product, or GMP, were in Austin (4.6%), San Jose and Nashville (4.2%), San Francisco (4.1%), New Orleans (3.9%), and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and my hometown, Charlotte (3.8%).
In 2014, 344 metro areas—a full 95%—will see real GMP growth. Together, America’s metro areas will contribute 87% of the nation’s payroll, 88% of total income, 97% of population growth, and 91% of real GDP growth to the nation’s economy.
The combined economic output of just the 10 largest metro areas—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta—exceeds the combined output of an astounding 37 states.
The list goes on.
And for the past several years I’ve been able to play a small role in releasing these major economic reports, which frequently get picked up by national and local media alike. See, these are hefty reports; this latest one runs to 132 pages alone. So, to break down the data and make it more digestible for mayors, the media, and the public, I’ve worked with the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City to produce companion charts that convey the most salient information in easy-to-understand graphs. Here’s the latest:
For this latest set of charts, I proposed a few changes both to pique mayors’ and others’ interest and to help save on printing costs and waste. The front page of this report contains a new “dashboard”, where macro data are gathered in a series of concise graphs, allowing readers to quickly understand the contributions of metro areas to the nation’s economy. Flip it over to the back page (the fourth page in this online version) and there’s a list of the top 100 metro economies. Inside, rankings of metro areas with nations and with U.S. states are now found side by side. It’s all a matter of taking something with an established legacy and making it better and more relevant.
To learn more about my contributions to the Metro Economies Reports series over the years and to see past editions of these charts, check out my portfolio.
Photo Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, president of The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), holds a copy of the June 2014 Metro Economies Report while speaking at the opening press conference of USCM’s annual meeting in Dallas, 20 June 2014.
courtesy USCM via Flickr