The ranking, created using reports from McKinsey & Company, examined thousands of data points across a number of different categories to create an overall measure of how well states are performing for their citizens. Colorado came out on top in the economy category, with population and GDP growth, employment and business environment as the key factors for which states were compared.
Here in Colorado Springs, this economic boom for the state is certainly evident: the city added more than 7,700 jobs in each of the last two years, consistently maintains a low unemployment rate, and boasts a median salary of $71,400 (Colorado statewide median salary: $66,200).
What’s more, Colorado Springs is rapidly growing: recent population forecasts showed that Colorado Springs is poised to overtake Denver as the largest city in Colorado by 2050. The city also just ranked top in the nation for cities where millennials are moving, according to a report by Brookings. With a boom in urban living, hospitality, retail and dining, downtown Colorado Springs is experiencing renaissance with $620 million worth of development completed, planned or underway.
The ranking also highlights that Colorado’s economy is bolstered by a developing technology scene and a presence from the military, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, which is located in Colorado Springs. The city is home to more than 220 IT and cybersecurity companies, five high-tech military installations, and organizations like the National Cybersecurity Center that are on the leading edge of technology innovation in Colorado and beyond.
Colorado came in 10th overall in the Best States ranking, with Iowa taking the top spot. US News & World Report gave some measures more weight than others, such as healthcare and education. Other categories included Infrastructure, Opportunity, Public Safety, Fiscal Stability and Quality of Life. See the full ranking here.