Blacksburg metro area ranked No. 21
Best-Performing Small City in U.S.

January 9, 2014

Montgomery County, Virginia
Economic Development Department


Montgomery County, Virginia – The Milken Institute has ranked the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area the No. 21 Best-Performing Small City of 2013. The annual listing assess how well 179 small U.S. metros are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area rose eleven spots on the 2013 list and was the highest ranking small metro in Virginia: Winchester (40), Danville (81), Charlottesville (89), Harrisonburg (106), and Lynchburg (129).

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank that is based in Sana Monica, California. To compile 2013 Best-Performing Small Cities list, the Milken Institute ranked 179 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas with populations less than 256,000 using an index measuring job, wage, and technology growth.

The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area has appeared on the Milken Institute’s list of the best-performing small cities eight times, dating back to 2005. This year’s No. 21 ranking is the highest that the metro has ever appeared on the list and marks the second consecutive year of improvement. The metro’s previous best was No. 32 on the 2012 list.

In addition its overall ranking, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area also ranked in the top 50 within several subcategories of the index, including.

  • 5-year Job Growth: 43
  • 1-year Job Growth: 28
  • 1-year Wages & Salary Growth: 38
  • Short-Term Job Growth: 18
  • High-Tech GDP Location Quotient: 41

Known locally as the New River Valley, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area is designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget due to its high degree of economic and social integration. The area has a population of 180,000 and encompasses the counties of Montgomery, Pulaski, Giles, and Floyd.

About Us

Montgomery County, Virginia - home of Virginia Tech and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg - is a progressive, technology-driven community with an abundance of outdoor amenities. The Montgomery County Economic Development Department actively supports the startup, retention and expansion of companies in Montgomery County as well as the recruitment of new businesses to the community.  To learn more, visit

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