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12 Most Dynamic Metro Areas in the U.S.

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Heartland Forward’s annual Most Dynamic Metros report for 2021, released Monday, strives to capture the underlying structural composition of metropolitan economies, identifying locales that are making themselves more resilient and moving toward better economic outcomes for their residents.

The nonprofit think tank’s index is based on recent growth in employment, wages and GDP, as well as two entrepreneurship metrics — the density of young business activity within the overall economy and density of well-educated workers in the workforce employed by those young businesses — and average income, which reflects previous productivity gains.

The new report identifies a mix of top tech hubs, low-cost emerging tech hubs with outdoor and lifestyle recreational amenities, university and state capital presence, and a lack of dependence on energy or international tourism and business travel as propelling factors.

See the gallery for the top 12 most dynamic metropolitan areas in 2022.