Metro Birmingham ranked 197th out of 200

I hear it everywhere, “Metro Birmingham’s doing fine; it’s the City of Birmingham that has problems.  Life is great in the suburbs; if the City implodes, that’s not my problem.”

If we’re all doing so great, how do you explain that the Milken Institute just named metro Birmingham one of the worst performing large cities in America?

Metro Birmingham is ranked 197th out of the 200 based on job growth, wage growth and high-tech gross domestic product growth, among other factors.

Let me emphasize…they are talking about metro Birmingham–not the City of Birmingham.

It’s a free for all in Metro Birmingham–37 municipalities in Jefferson County; people fleeing to outlying counties; and the State Legislature holding us in a choke hold. Everyone’s out for themselves and no one is looking out for our broader community.

We’re competing (or not competing) with Southern cities with unified agendas and they’re killing us.  Compare for yourself…

  • 2  Austin
  • 3 Raleigh
  • 9 Charleston
  • 21 Durham
  • 24 Lafayette, La
  • 25 Knoxville
  • 27 Nashville
  • 35 Charlotte
  • 37 Columbus, Ga.
  • 61 Huntsville
  • 64 Shreveport
  • 78 Baton Rouge
  • 80 Chattanooga
  • 197 Birmingham

Meanwhile our children and grandchildren continue to move away as big public firms abandon us costing us money and jobs.

Life in Mt. Brook and Trussville may be great, but until we understand that we’re all in this together, we will remain stagnant and our future and the future of our children will slip away.

Let’s begin a discussion on how we might improve our government structure.

Let’s turn Birmingham around. Click here to sign up for our  newsletter.  There’s power in numbers. (Opt out at any time)

David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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8 thoughts on “Metro Birmingham ranked 197th out of 200”

  1. *

    I mean are we the same person?

     I preach about this
    all the time. Maybe it’s because I am not originally from here that I see it,
    but guess what? Without Birmingham, there is no Mt. Brooke, Hoover, Trussville,
    there is nothing. While the Metro may be growing, mind you at a pathetic 1.2% (
    a far cry from the other major metros in the south), Birmingham is shrinking
    and without the jobs in Birmingham there is no income to sustain the “Fine
    Life” in the suburbs.

    I love Birmingham, and it kills me how so many people can be
    so blind.  I just hope we can get some
    people in office before it is too late. 
    I feel like we are taking some steps in the right direction with the properties
    popping up around Railroad Park and the revival of the area around Lyric
    Theatre.  I just hope that little bit of
    growth will jump start the growth Birmingham needs to once again become

  2. *While fleeing Birmingham going north as fast as possible after living there my entire life, my heart began to slow and peace began to set in when I crossed the AL/TN line.  As I moved north up around  Franklin, TN the clouds were gone and blue sky abounded.  We had escaped from the darkness…never to return.  That’s what Birmigham and it’s ‘burbs had become; darkness.  No real way to put your finger on it because it’s just a feeling…a premonition of the death of a city and it’s hopelessly imprisoned and abandoned citizens.  I wish you luck people of Birmingham.  My advice is to pack up the wife and kids and head north…soon.

  3. Time to move to Detroit and turn off the lights in B’Ham? “Birmingham-Hoover MSA plummeted 15 spots to 197 from the 2011 Milken
    Survey. To put this in perspective, the Birmingham-Hoover MSA is now
    underperforming the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn MSA which is ranked 190”.

  4. *”If we’re all doing so great, how do you explain that the Milken Institute just named metro Birmingham one of the worst performing large cities in America?”



    Demographics. See also Detroit, Mongomery etc.

    It’s high time some of us admitted that our family, friends & leaders in those old black & white film reels protesting forced integration, busing & the hell it would bring (successfully) were right.

    Stop ignoring the 800lb gorilla in the room.

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