A new survey of America's cities shows how important the technology boom is to Seattle's growth and prosperity.

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Among the many surveys coming our way every week, only a few count as gold standards for measuring the competitiveness of American metropolitan areas and cities. One is the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities, released today, with Seattle No. 7 among 200 metros.

The overall rank, moving Seattle-Bellevue-Everett back into the top 10, is four spots ahead of where we landed last year.

Seattle was boosted by being second in high tech concentration of GDP, as well as above-average wage growth and strength in aerospace, cloud computing, data storage and e-commerce industry clusters. Other strengths: “High wages in tech industries support consumption-related jobs in the rest of the local economy,” and “Well-educated and highly skilled workforce attracts technology firms and advanced manufacturers.”

The only cautionary note was the potential for Boeing orders to falter as China’s downtown continues.

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Portland also put in a strong showing, coming in at No. 8 this year compared with No. 16 in 2014. Tacoma ranked 61.

The top national performers ahead of Seattle were Silicon Valley; San Francisco; Provo-Orem, Utah; Austin; Dallas and Raleigh. Elsewhere in the Northwest, rankings include Bellingham (18); Boise (33); Kennewick-Richland (83); Olympia (63); Salem (72); Spokane (81); Wenatchee (14) and Yakima (48). The report classes large and small metros.

You can read and download the entire report here.


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