Best Performing Small Cities: Where America’s Jobs Are Created: Iowa City #1

Iowa City?! Ever heard of it? You should. Not only did the acclaimed Milken Institute name it as the best small city in economic performance and job creation in the country in their annual report, but here are a few other accolades:

• One of the ten most enlightened towns in the U.S. – Utne Reader
• Listed in the book The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America
• Number-one place to live in the nation by Editor & Publisher magazine.

Diversity of economic base was listed as the most common attribute for economic success. Other important assets are a university presence, an array of service-based (evolving to experience-based) industries and population-driven growth.

A diverse economic base essentially comes from a diverse population, and cities must understand statements like the following if they want to attract and retain graduate talent: “Iowa City is very diverse for a small town. Coming from Chicago, it was surprising to me to find something similar to that in such a small town. I have a wide variety of friends across different cultures here in Iowa, and that’s privately what i didn’t think i’d find here.” African-American University of Iowa student

The Milken Institute’s keys to become a best performing city: Economic dynamism/entrepreneurialism, capital access, human/creative capital, innovation capacity and global/international integration attributes – all CoolTown objectives.

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