Study names Knoxville among top 100 ambitious cities in US


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — How driven are you? If you’re living in the Scruffy City you are living among some of the most ambitious cities in the United States and the most ambitious in Tennessee, at least according to a study by Verizon Wireless’s business products arm

The group looked at six different factors and weighted each one with a total score of 100%.

The six factors include:

  • Mean income – weighted +17% of the final score 
    • The mean household income for each city from the 2019 census estimate data set S1901. A higher number positively affected the final scores.
  • Unemployment rate – weighted -10% of the final score
    • The unemployment rate for each city from the 2019 census estimate data set DP03. A higher percentage negatively affected the final scores.
  • People with a bachelor’s degree or higher – weighted +10% of the final score
    • The percentage of people who have a bachelor’s degree or higher (all ages included) from the 2019 census estimate data set S1501. A higher percentage positively affected the final score.
  • Number of business applications – weighted +18% of the final score
    • The number of business applications for 2019 from the U.S. census business formation statistic. A higher number of applications positively affected the final score.
  • Percent of population that starts a new business – weighted +25% of the final score
  • Homeownership – weighted +30% of the final score
    • The homeownership percentage for each city from the 2019 census estimate data set DP04. A higher percentage positively affected the final score.

According to the study Sugar Land, Texas, is the most ambitious city in the U.S. followed by five California cities: West Covina, Torrance, Santa Clarita, Carlsbad and Norwalk, respectively. Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston had a mean household income of more than $157,000 and an unemployment rate of 3% at the time of the survey.

Top 15 most ambitious cities

  1. Sugar Land, TX
  2. West Covina, CA
  3. Torrance, CA
  4. Santa Clarita, CA
  5. Carlsbad, CA
  6. Norwalk, CA
  7. Pembroke Pines, FL
  8. Frisco, TX
  9. Thousand Oaks, CA
  10. Coral Springs, FL
  11. Fremont, CA
  12. Columbia, MO
  13. Scottsdale, AZ
  14. Burbank, CA
  15. Miami Gardens, FL

The study looked at U.S. census data from 2019 for cities with a population of more than 100,000, not including cities in Vermont and West Virginia since the census office did not provide data for those states’ cities with the qualifying number of residents. Cities in Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Wyoming were also not included.

Knoxville took the top spot in Tennessee at No. 85. Memphis was the only other city in the top 200 at No. 189. Chattanooga checks in at No. 220. Clarksville is No. 239. Murfreesboro is No. 248.

Other cities of interest include: Louisville, Kentucky, No. 58; Atlanta, No. 172; Huntsville, Alabama, No. 231; Los Angeles, No. 204; New York, No. 227; Dallas, No. 262; and Washington, D.C., No. 300.

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