Bend area again ranked 'Best Performing Small City' in U.S.

Repeats last year's Milken Institute ranking

BEND, Ore. - The Los Angeles-based Milken Institute has released their 2017 yearly findings in the Best Performing Small Cities study, affirming for the second year in a row the Bend-Redmond area as No. 1 in the country.


Of the nine key indicators the Milken Institute uses to compile their listings, six of these improved over the Bend-Redmond metro area's) (MSA’s) 2016 ranking, showcasing our area’s stellar economic performance. The report noted a diverse set of high-tech industries as continuing to sustain our area’s economic expansion.

“It is rare that a metro claims the #1 position two years in a row,” noted Roger Lee, CEO with Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). “In 2017, our area topped the nation for GDP growth, experienced the 2nd-fastest job growth, and came in 6th for population growth. While the Milken Institute’s report sites EDCO’s role in this ranking, successful economic development is a team endeavor and many organizations and coordinated efforts are to be congratulated.”

Below is an excerpt from the report, which can be found in its entirety here:

“The Bend-Redmond, OR, area remains the top performing small region, held aloft by the second highest job growth among its peers for both 2016 and the five-year period 2011-2016. The region has a high quality of life and easy access to outdoor recreation, drawing in tourists and new residents alike. Demand from these new residents has been contributing to higher housing prices, and the precipitous fall in values experienced during the recession has been more than made up. The presence of the Oregon State University-Cascades campus is helping to create a skilled local workforce, valuable to the diverse local high-tech industry. The collaborative business community tries to foster an entrepreneurial environment and has developed solid support structures for new firms and startups in pursuit of broad-based growth.”

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

Economic Development for Central Oregon is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit  

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