Iowa City, CR move up in POLICOM ratings

BY EMMA WILLIS | JULY 03, 2013 5:00 AM

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In a 2013 economic-strength analysis released by POLICOM, both the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids metropolitan areas increased their national rankings to the 68th and 54th spots, respectively.

POLICOM, which specializes in analyzing local and state economies, annually ranks the 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 576 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States for “economic strength,” including nine Iowa metros: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Sioux City, and Waterloo.

Iowa City rose 34 spots since 2012 to the 68th spot, and Cedar Rapids rose 35 spots to the 54th placing both in the top 100 for the first time in more than nine years.

The strength of an area’s economy is determined by both looking at the “standard of living” for the people who work and live in these areas and a look at 23 different economic factors over a 20-year period to create the rankings. POLICOM numbers often change if an economy remains inconsistent with the growth in both size and quality.

Data were collected from 1992 to 2011 for a January 2013 release.

Since 2008, Iowa City has had a steady increase in the rankings, while Cedar Rapids has decreased at a slightly less predictable rate ranging from 168th place to its current spot.

While Davenport and Ames declined, Des Moines has maintained its title as second in the nation, taking the top rank within the state as well.

The study has released national rankings since 1997.

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