Think tank Milken Institute gives Denver high marks in best performing cities study.

Denver climbed up seven places coming in at No. 11 nationwide in a study on best performing cities by the Milken Institute.

Fort Collins and Colorado Springs also ranked high on the lists by Milken, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., in its Best-Performing Cities 2021 Foundations for Growth and Recovery.

The Denver-metro area ranked similarly in 2020 to most prior study indicators, “with the exception of one-year wage growth (which improved from 20th to seventh),” according to the report. “High one-year wage growth also helped the Mile-High City achieve this ranking, despite middling rankings in many of our other indicators.”

Denver, categorized among “large cities,” also rose because of a newly included indicator in the study, scoring “very well” in broadband access, taking 11th place with more than 92% of its households having access. The city, however, scored poorly for housing affordability, according to Milken.

Provo-Orem, Utah, took the top spot this year based, in part, on its “strength of job, wage, and high-tech GDP growth,” according to the authors.

Fort Collins came in just behind Denver this year, ranking at No. 12 on the strength of its high-tech sector and wage growth, according to Milken. The city posted high-tech GDP growth of 11.5% from 2018-19, the report said, while wages and employment grew 37.8% and 16.7%, respectively, over the last five years.

Colorado Springs ranked 17th in 2021 in the Tier 2 Cities category, up from No. 36 in 2020.

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