These 15 US Cities Are Driving The Future In 2015

High tech hubs are dominating the US economy, according to new rankings of America’s best performing cities by the Milken Institute.

A whopping 8 out of the top 15 best performing cities are local tech hubs — including the top 6.

Most of the rest are beneficiaries of the oil shale boom.

Milken’s rankings are based on data from both long- and short-term growth in jobs, wages, salaries, and technological output.

13. Boulder, Colo.

This small city has the 'most diverse high-tech sector in the nation,' Milken says. There's a booming startup scene there, plus facilities for tech companies like IBM and Oracle, and Google is opening a huge new office there next year. The real estate market is also doing very well, with prices well above their pre-recession peaks -- like a lot of other tech hubs.

Read the full city profile at Milken »

9. Dallas -- Plano -- Irving, Texas

The Dallas area has a diverse high-tech sector, but it's growing more slowly than other cities in the top 10.

Overall, the economy here is pretty diverse, with professional services, science, and technical services adding more than 4,000 job last year, and financial services adding another 7,000. Toyota is also relocating jobs from around the country to a new campus in Plano, which will add another 4,000 jobs.

Read the full city profile at Milken »

8. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

Right next door to Dallas, this metro region rose eight spots last year to enter the top 10.

The big driver of the economy here is transportation, as the trucking industry added more than 3,000 jobs since 2008, more than any other city. General Motors also has a big plant in Arlington, and the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, which has its hub at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, will create new jobs.

Read the full city profile at Milken »

6. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City has a strong high-tech sector, and is also a growing financial hub -- Goldman Sachs employs more people here than anywhere else in the US outside of New York CIty.

The University of Utah is also a huge local employer with a focus on entrepreneurship. It's building a major new student residence, Lassonde Studios, with a built-in 'garage' space for collaboration and prototyping.

Read the full city profile at Milken »

4. San Jose -- Sunnyvale -- Santa Clara, Calif.

This region, which encompasses Silicon Valley, held steady at number four from last year. The dominance of the tech sector is obvious: tech firms employ more than 270,000 people here, the venture capital firms based here captured more than half of the industry's $US12 billion in funding in 2014, and more than one-fifth of the people living here have advanced degrees, mostly in scientific or technological fields.

Some old stalwarts like HP and Cisco have been laying off workers, but there's more than enough growth from other players like Facebook, Apple, Google, and Oracle to make up the difference.

Read the full city profile at Milken »

Now check out what San Francisco looked like before the tech boom...

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