Hometown Glory

Houston ranked the No. 1 economy in America: City beats back the recession

Houston ranked the No. 1 economy in America: City beats back the recession

Houston, skyline, downtown
Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Those looking for good news in Brookings' Global MetroMonitor, an annual report on the economic state of 300 cities worldwide, will find it — as long as they live in China.

With virtually every city in Europe still mired in a worsening recession and much of the United States still in a weak recovery mode, mainland China featured 34 of the top-performing metropolitan areas in 2011-2012, dominating the top quintile. Overall three-fourths of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in developing Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

 Houston is the highest-ranked American city, in 40th place globally. 

However Houston was a rare bright spot in the American economic landscape. While only Dallas, Knoxville and Pittsburgh were declared to be "fully recovered," from the recent major recession, Houston is the highest-ranked American city, in 40th place globally, based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and employment change.

Louisville, Salt Lake City and San Jose also ranked highly enough to be among the top 20 percent, but their three economies combined are still less than Houston's $400 billion GDP.

The good news for the United States is that while only a trio of cities were categorized as fully recovered, most cities in America are partially recovered, not still in a partial recession. So it is getting better — and Houston is leading the way.