Top 10 fastest growing urban economies in the U.S.

U.S. metro economies grow by 1.7 percent, a good sign for the U.S. economy.

As the metropolitan economies of the United States grow, so grows the country's overall economy.

That's because, in the U.S., metro areas account for 90.7 percent of real GDP, 89.9 percent of wage and salary income, 85.8 percent of jobs. So it bodes well for economic recovery in the U.S. that economies are growing in the nation's metros. A new economic report from the U.S. Conference of Mayor, and prepared by IHS Global Insight, shows slow, steady economic growth in 2011, with real gross metropolitan product (GMP) growing by 1.7 percent.

Here are the top 10 fastest growing economies of the 100 largest metros in 2011:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara - 7.5%
2. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro - 5.5%
3. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos - 5%
4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission - 4.3%
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown - 3.8%
6. Provo-Orem - 3.2%
7. San Antonio-New Braunfels - 3.1%
8. Raleigh-Cary - 3%
9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington - 2.9%
10. (tie) El Paso - 2.8%
10. (tie) Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill - 2.8%

And growth will continue this year in metro economies, the report projects. In 2012, GDP is expected to grow by 2 percent. 50 metros are expected to see GMP growth of 3 percent or more, 110 will see 2 percent or more, and 220 will increase GMP by 1 percent or more. In fact, 300 of the nation’s 363 metro areas should see economic growth this year.

And how's this for a weekend cocktail party stat: Each of the largest metros in the U.S. -- New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago -- have a greater economic output than 45 states.

But cities in the U.S. will also continue to grow their populations. Over the next 30 years, metros will add 84 million people, putting further strain on already aging infrastructure.

For a more robust economic recovery, it's time to focus more attention on upgrading cities to meet heightened demand.

Read the full report here.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Michael

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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