NRV 2023 Top 50 Metro Area for Economic Growth in the US

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley is one of the top 50 places in America for metro areas that are “hotspots for economic growth”, according to Area Development. The magazine recently released its rankings of the 2023 leading metro locations that are hotspots for economic growth.

The Blacksburg-Christiansburg metropolitan statistical area (MSA), also known as the New River Valley, ranked No. 49 overall and No. 21 among mid-sized metros with populations between 160,000 to 600,000. The New River Valley is the only location from Virginia that made the top 50.

According to Area Development, they ranked “384 MSAs across 24 economic and workforce indicators pulled from eight (8) data sets — each set containing a five-year change, a three-year change, and a one-year change indicator — originating from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census, and JobsEQ® by Chmura Economics & Analytics.” The “Overall Ranking” was created by totaling the score across all data sets, with the five-year change indicators carrying the most weight and the one-year indicators carrying the least weight. The four primary indicators used to compile the rankings included Prime Workforce, Economic Strength, Year-Over-Year Growth, Three-Year Growth, and Five-Year Growth.

The “overall ranking” isn’t a product of just one indicator, but all the factors combined. This shows the New River Valley’s strength in a variety of different indicators that make it ‘a natural fit’ across the board. The region benefits from its emerging tech hub, high-tech advanced manufacturing, access to talent, great cost of living and many other key factors that make the NRV a great place to live and do business.

Read the full list of rankings here.

Read the methodology behind the report here.


Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

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