The Brookings Institution recently published the report, “Metro Monitor: Tracking growth, prosperity, and inclusion in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas”.  The report and accompanying data interactive rank metropolitan areas compared to their peers over the past one, five, and 10 years in three economic categories:

  • Growth, or changes in the size of the metropolitan economy
  • Prosperity, or changes in the economic well-being of the region’s average workers and residents
  • Inclusion, or changes in disparities within the region by income and race

The report finds that between 2009 and 2014, only nine of the 100 largest metro areas outperformed averages in growth, prosperity, inclusion, and inclusion by race. Overall many metropolitan areas achieved robust growth during the economic recovery, but this growth did not generate a higher quality of life for many individuals.  Median wages, for instance, declined in 80 of the 100 metro areas.

Disparities widened between non-Hispanic whites and people of color—Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic Asians, and people of other or two or more races—on measures of median wage, relative income poverty, and employment in most metropolitan areas during the recovery. Only 21 metropolitan areas saw the gap between whites and people of color shrink significantly on all three measures.