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Bend-Redmond Repeats as #1 in Milken Institute List of Best Performing Small Cities

by Ben Hemson01/12/2018 2:35 PM
Updated: 01/12/2018

For the second year in a row the Bend-Redmond metro area was listed as the Best Performing Small City in the US by the Milken Institute’s annual ranking of municipalities and metro areas. The study ranks cities based on a variety of weighted economic indicators:

 List of rating criteria for Milken best performing city list


In justifying Bend’s continued #1 ranking, the full report notes:

The Bend-Redmond, OR, area remains the top performing small region, held aloft by the second highest job growth among its peers for both 2016 and the five-year period 2011-2016. The region has a high quality of life and easy access to outdoor recreation, drawing in tourists and new residents alike. Demand from these new residents has been contributing to higher housing prices, and the precipitous fall in values experienced during the recession has been more than made up. The presence of the Oregon State University-Cascades campus is helping to create a skilled local workforce, valuable to the diverse local high-tech industry. The collaborative business community tries to foster an entrepreneurial environment and has developed solid support structures for new firms and startups in pursuit of broad-based growth.

Evidence of Central Oregon’s rebound from the depths of the Great Recession shows up throughout the Bend-Redmond’s rankings in the review of over 200 cities, notably in local job and wage growth:

 Bend Ranking on Milken Criteria by Year


 Rounding out the top three cities were St. George, Utah and Gainesville, Georgia, respectively.

For more information download the full report or visit

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