Here's something the sophisticates in New York, elitists in Los Angeles and crack dealers in Miami don't have on Houston: The Brookings Institution released their Global MetroMonitor last week and Houston's economy is number one in the country and 40th in the world. Take that, San Diego, with your perfect weather, gorgeous ocean views and 136th-in-the-world ranking.
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San Jose (a.k.a. Tech Land) was the only other U.S. city to rank in the top 50 worldwide. By comparison, L.A. was 138, New York 155, Chicago 208 and Miami 227. Other cities in Texas fared a little better, with Dallas at 91 and Austin at 61, but Austin's GDP is less than one-third of Houston's.
Brookings ranks cities based on census data and GDP per capita, which measures the economic growth of individuals living in a given area. For Houston, it shows a 1.7 percent growth in GDP per capita and a 3.3 percent gain in employment.
The eastern part of the world racked up most of the spots at the top of the list, with cities throughout China, the Middle East, India and even Perth, Australia in the top 20. China, in particular, with its enormous population and rapid industrialization, dominates the list. Europe, on the other hand, has seen its stock fall (literally and metaphorically) thanks to its volatile economic landscape.
What this means for Houston is that, as has been the case throughout much of the recession, we continue to make strong economic strides while much of the rest of the country and even the world struggles. Go us!