It was exciting news late last week as we first learned that the Yuba City “metro area” was being ranked 7th among the nation’s small cities for economic development performance in the Milken Institute’s annual report on Best Performing Cities U.S. Index.
It is an honor not just for Yuba City, the largest incorporated city in the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, or “metro area,” but for the entire region comprised of Sutter County and Yuba County. It is a recognition that our region is situated for economic expansion.
The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities (BPC) U.S. index provides a way to measure which American metros offer the greatest opportunities for prosperity and innovation across the nation. The BPC index measures metropolitan areas’ economic performance using outcomes-based metrics such as job creation, wage gains, and technology developments to evaluate the metros’ relative growth. Their latest rankings can be found here: http://www.milkeninstitute.org/publications/view/897
For the report, the Milken Institute examined Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs), a designation determined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used by the Census Bureau and other federal government agencies for statistical purposes. A metropolitan area, sometimes referred to as a metro area, greater area, commuter belt or conurbation, is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.
Sutter and Yuba counties were designated an SMSA after the 1980 U.S. Census determined there were more than 100,000 people living in the two counties. The SMSA was named Yuba City because it was the largest incorporated city in the two counties. The SMSA includes all of the incorporated cities of Yuba City, Live Oak, Marysville, and Wheatland, and all of the unincorporated areas of Sutter and Yuba counties.
The ranking was based in part on the number of high tech industries in the two counties, and the high rate of job growth over the past year.