August 8, 2018

Greater Worcester scores below average in population, business growth

Photo/Grant Welker
145 Front at City Square and AC Hotel in downtown Worcester. The new developments contributed to Worcester's growth, but the area still lagged most major U.S. cities.

The Worcester metropolitan area doesn't fare particularly well in a new national rating of cities based on a range of growth factors — nor does any other larger New England metro area not named Boston.

Worcester landed 70th out of the 100 largest cities measured in a report published Monday by the website Magnify Money, which analyzed U.S. Census data on growth in population, housing units, labor force, unemployment rate, number of business establishments and other factors from 2010 to 2016.

Each city was ranked in three areas — population and housing, workforce and earnings, and business growth — on a scale of 0 to 100.

For population and housing, Worcester was a 11.4. For workforce and earnings, it was better: a 24.6. For business growth, it was better still: 28.3. Its average score: 21.4.

The Worcester metropolitan area is defined by the Census as Worcester County and Connecticut's Windham County.

Those ratings don't look too well through a national perspective, with cities in the West and South generally doing much better. Austin, Texas, topped the list, for example, followed by Provo, Utah, and Raleigh, N.C.

In the Northeast, however, Worcester's scores don't seem so bad. Among all metro areas in the Northeast that were ranked, only Boston and Washington, D.C. landed in the top half, with New York City apparently dinged by a less-impressive seeming percentage growth in population instead of its overall population growth.

Outside of Boston — which landed at 46th — New England fared poorly. Of the worst 10 spots on the list, four were taken by Southern New England metro areas: Providence (91st), Springfield (95th), Hartford (96th) and New Haven (98th).

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