- January 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 1

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Regional economic capitals and the Big Six: A data-driven approach to analyzing investment markets

by Stewart Rubin and Dakota Firenze

Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are traditionally referred to as the “Big Six” U.S. investment markets. But is that really true? Our findings support the concept of the Big Six; however, we infer a larger theme. The nation’s regional economic capitals, which also include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Miami, have risen in importance and outperformed the top four investment markets (New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.) as well as most of the rest of the United States over the past decade. Eight ascendant metros — Austin; Charlotte, N.C.; Denver; Nashville; Orlando; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. — have recorded exceptional performance over the past 15 years, reflecting their strong transformative growth.

“Regional economic capital” is not a governmental term and does not reflect any legal jurisdictional designation. It does represent, however, the central nexus

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