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BLOG, Current News

Provo, Utah: Awarded Best Performing City

By Katerina Gasset

Provo is a city that’s all about growth and innovation, and its impressive accolades are proof of that. Let us dive into some of the fantastic awards Provo has received!

What is the City of Provo Ranked?

The City of Provo has been ranked as the best-performing city in the United States, according to the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities 2023 report. Can you believe it? This is the third year in a row that Provo has earned the top spot on this list! 

Provo’s labor market has experienced an expansion over the last five years. This has led to impressive growth rates in jobs and wages. The high-tech sector, in particular, has played a significant role in Provo’s economic success. No wonder the city is ranked 12th in the nation for five-year high-tech growth. That’s pretty impressive! 

One cannot discuss Provo’s strengths without our close association with Brigham Young University (BYU). The university attracts top-tier talent to the city, making Provo an attractive destination for high-tech enterprises and startups. Let’s not forget the thousands of jobs BYU brings to the local community! 

Of course, like any growing and thriving city, challenges do exist. One of the most significant challenges Provo faces is housing affordability. However, Provo is working hard to address them so that all residents can still enjoy the benefits of Provo’s prosperity. 

One of the houses in my neighborhood in Provo Utah. A proof of why Provo is the best performing city

What is the Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities 2023 Award?

The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities 2023 Award is an exciting recognition given by the Milken Insitute – a nonprofit think-tank dedicated to advancing progress in various areas of life. 

The award celebrates metropolitan areas that have shown remarkable growth and development. These cities have effectively utilized their resources to ensure the well-being of their residents, even in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic (Switek et al., 2023). 

To determine deserving cities, the Milken Institute uses a Best-Perfoming Cities Index. This index measures cities' performance based on factors like job growth, wage trends, and access to digital services. 

It is calculated using 12 key indicators. These indicators are grouped into three categories - Labor Market Performance, High-Tech Impact, and Acess to Economic Opportunities. 

For large cities, Provo-Orem, UT, has secured the top spot for the third year in a row. This achievement is due to its robust job and wage growth and thriving high-tech sector. 

Among small cities, Idaho Falls, ID, reclaimed the top spot after slipping to fifth place in the previous year’s rankings. 

What Other Awards Did Provo, Utah Receive? 

Photo I took of one of the houses in the Indian Hills neighborhood here in Provo Utah

1. #1 Boomtown in America 

Provo, Utah, has been named the #1 boomtown in America! Incredible, right? 

Checkr conducted a comprehensive study of all 381 metropolitan areas in the US, and Provo secured an outstanding Boomtown Score of 37. 

What exactly is a boomtown? 

A boomtown is a city that experiences rapid growth in a short amount of time, and Provo has achieved that. We’ve seen a massive increase in businesses, population, and overall economic activity, which is impressive. 

One of the contributors to this increase is the new establishments that are rapidly arising here in Provo. One of those is the Provo Regional Sports Park. Check out details of this huge 21-soccer field sports park that is expected to be completed in Fall 2024 on my latest blog post.

What’s even more impressive is that Provo didn’t just excel in one or two categories but multiple areas. It ranked #2 in the number of businesses, #6 in labor force growth, and #4 in GDP growth. 

All this success results from the hard work and dedication of Provo’s residents and business owners. The city has attracted skilled workers from all over, and it’s creating more and more job opportunities every day.

A large part of those businesses are restaurants, which is one of the main reasons why I love Provo! Check out some of my recent restaurant reviews:

Kokonut Island Grill: Authentic Hawaiian Food

Communal Restaurant in Downtown Provo

Cupbop Korean BBQ in Provo, Utah

Black Sheep Cafe: Native American Restaurant

But Provo isn’t the only boomtown in Utah! St. George, Logan, and Ogden also made it onto the top 10 list. This shows Utah’s commitment to creating a business-friendly environment attractive to diverse industries.

2. Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2023 

Provo, Utah, made it to Livability’s list of the best places to live in America in 2023! Trust me, it’s no surprise. Provo has everything you could want in a city and more. 

One thing that makes Provo stand out from other cities is the stunning view of the Wasatch Mountains. These majestic mountains provide a natural backdrop perfect for adventurers of all kinds.  From hiking to skiing, Provo has every outdoor activity you could think of. 

There are lots of fun places to visit in this city and Provo owes this to its rich history. Check out the deep dive I did on Provo's rich history: The History of Provo Utah. I even revealed the main factor that made me decide to make the move to Provo, so check it out.

Up for some treasure hunt? Provo has lots of gems you will love! I revealed them here on one of my blog posts: 5 Unknown Treasures of Provo, Utah

But there’s more to Provo than just its beautiful scenery and its interesting history. The city also has reputable universities like Brigham Young University (BYU). This makes Provo an attractive destination for professionals seeking a high quality of life and career advancement. 

There are abundant opportunities for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology professionals to grow and thrive. 

Oh, and did I mention that Provo is family-friendly too? The neighborhoods are safe and welcoming, making them ideal for raising kids. This city offers affordable housing options and a lower living cost than other bustling cities. 

Mountains in Historic Downtown Provo

Mountains in Provo City Center Temple

Look no further than Provo, Utah, if you’re looking for the perfect place to call home. With its jaw-dropping views, renowned universities, and family-friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder Provo has been named one of the best places to live in America. 

Do you like to get out and about? Whether you like the mountains, hiking, skiing, or hanging out in the Provo Library... there are things for you to do and see. Check out our page on Places to Go In Provo, Utah. 

3. Provo is the #5 Best-Run City in America 

Provo has been ranked as the #5 Best-Run City in America! 

WalletHub, a reputable finance website, released a study that assessed 149 major U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency. Provo came in the top five! 

This incredible achievement highlights local leaders' exceptional management and the efficient use of public funds. 

Despite the challenges faced in the past year, Provo’s impressive ranking holds significant meaning. The city has shown resilience in navigating through the complexities of the aftermath of COVID-19 and high inflation. 

This achievement is a testament to the spirit of the people of Provo. 

According to Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, the recognition belongs to every resident of Provo. It is the collective effort of the people that makes Provo such a fantastic city. 

Provo’s achievement highlights its commitment to excellence, and that’s something to be proud of. 

Moving forward, Mayor Kaufusi sees more collaboration and accomplishments. She is honored to serve as our mayor and is enthusiastic about the exciting future that lies ahead for Provo. 

4. Provo is America’s #1 City for Worker Satisfaction 

Provo has been ranked as America’s #1 City for Worker Satisfaction in a recent study by Glassdoor! How cool is that? 

@utahrealestategassets Utah shines again as a beacon of economic vitality and opportunity! With our third consecutive win of the Best Performing City Award, we prove that resilience, innovation, and community collaboration pave the way from strength to strength. Let's continue to illuminate the path forward for growth, prosperity, and inclusivity in our beloved state!" 🌟🏆 Read more places to go- find them on our Provo Community Website: When you are ready to make your move to Utah- check out: Utah County Homes for Sale We are here for you with 40 + Years of Experience Helping You Through Your Real Estate Transactions. Katerina Gasset, REALTOR®, SFR, MRS, and Tristan Gasset, REALTOR®, PSA, MRS ~ Mother and Son Real Estate Team at The Gasset Group in Utah ~Brokered by eXp Realty Text us today: 561–603–9592 Our team sells businesses in all 50 states. If you are thinking of joining eXp, let’s talk! #AmplifyYourLife #LivinginProvo #KaterinaGassetRealtor #TristanGassetRealtor #eXpRealtyUtah #CoachKaterina #GetItDoneforMeVirtualServices #TristanSellsUtah #AmplifyYourLife #SellingProvoUtah #LivinginProvoUtah #MoveToProvoUtah #utahhomes #utahrealestate #utahrealtor #utahlife #utahblogger #utahisbeautiful #utahmountains #utahadventures #utahhiking #visitutah #realestate #realestatetips #realestatecoach #realtormarketing #utahrealtortips ♬ Beautiful Life - Vin Music

Glasdoor analyzed average ratings given by workers in various cities across the United States. The results were impressive! Provo surpassed major cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City in terms of worker satisfaction. 

Here is a list of the top 25 cities, along with their rankings and average annual salaries:  

  1. Provo, UT - $61,973 
  2. San Jose, CA - $117, 188 
  3. Santa Barbara, CA - $72, 240 
  4. College Station, TX - $43, 118 
  5. Boston, MA - $87, 433 
  6. San Francisco, CA - $108, 426 
  7. Gainesville, FL - $50, 026 
  8. Washington, DC - $87, 374 
  9. Salt Lake City, UT - $69, 274 
  10. San Diego, CA - $77, 027 
  11.  Ogden, UT - $54, 601 
  12. Wilmington, NC - $56, 688 
  13. Austin, TX - $76, 647
  14. Fayetteville, AR - $64, 100 
  15. Ann Arbor, Ml - $65, 104 
  16. Omaha, NE - $62, 436 
  17. Bridgeport, CT - $78, 964 
  18. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL - $65, 143 
  19. Raleigh-Durham, NC - $72, 023 
  20. Trenton, NJ - $84, 034 
  21. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN - $72, 546 
  22. Seattle, WA - $93, 433 
  23. Honolulu, Hl - $62, 771
  24. San Juan, PR - $45, 582 
  25. New York City, NY - $87, 287 

This recognition reflects the investment in employees, supportive work environments, and outstanding benefits offered by businesses and organizations in Provo, Utah. 

It all contributes to a workforce that feels valued, motivated, and satisfied in their careers. 

As Provo’s Mayor, Michelle Kaufusi, said, “I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our local businesses. Your continuous investment in your employees, commitment to fostering supportive work environments, and provision of outstanding benefits all contribute significantly to making Provo the best place to work in the county.” 

Provo’s achievement can inspire other cities to prioritize the well-being and fulfillment of their workforce. 

5. Provo #2 Hottest Job Market in America 

Provo has gained recognition as the second-hottest job market in the United States! How incredible is that? 

A comprehensive analysis by The Wall Street Journal evaluated 300 metropolitan areas across the country. It considers factors such as unemployment rate, labor-force participation rate, job growth, labor-force growth, and wage growth. 

Guess what? Provo, Utah, stood out for its amazing performance across these areas. 

Provo clinched the second spot for its impressive unemployment rate. This means abundant job opportunities are available for job seekers in the city. 

Provo ranked 14th in labor force participation rate. This indicates more people in the city are actively involved in the job market. This is an excellent sign of a thriving job market environment. 

Job growth, an essential indicator, positioned Provo at 9th place. This demonstrates the city’s ability to foster new opportunities across various sectors. 

So, if you’re currently searching for job opportunities, Provo, Utah, is worth considering. Despite its size, the city’s performance shows it can compete nationally. 

You’ll be amazed at the number of companies and industries growing and flourishing in Provo. 

6. Provo #3 Most Neighborly City in the U.S. 

Provo, Utah, reached the #3 spot in the 2022 ranking of the Most Neighborly Cities in the United States! Can you believe it? 

One of the things that sets Provo apart is how generous its people are when it comes to charitable giving. When compared to other cities in America, Provo stands out. It shows its residents' commitment to making their community a better place for everyone. 

But it’s not just giving that’s important in Provo. This city also has the highest number of people volunteering for local organizations! 

One of the resasons why you should move to Provo is the overall livability of this city which is proven by the awards given to this city

Provo’s neighborly spirit is genuine. You can feel it when you’re there. That’s probably why Provo’s ranking jumped from #23 in 2021 to #3 in 2022! It’s an outstanding achievement, and we can all draw inspiration from Provo’s commitment to helping one another. 

But don’t just take my word for it! Provo isn’t just a friendly place; it also attracts significant players in business. Companies like Qualtrics, Nu Skin, and Vivint have chosen to establish themselves in Provo. They recognized the thriving business landscape and the sense of community that makes this city unique. 

If you are thinking about moving to Provo, Utah check this out: 

Home for Sale in Provo Utah 

Homes for Sale in Utah County


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About the author of Move to Provo Utah Website 

Katerina Gasset

When I moved here I was blessed to have my daughter to help with different things you need to know when you move to a new place. I had background from living here before but things have changed a lot too since the '80s. 

We were able to get all the good places to eat down fast - since she knows all that and we have a lot of the same likes in food. But things like how to turn on my electricity or what power company services my home... well... I was at a total loss! 

I know that other people moving to Provo don't always have family here to guide and help them. And most people don't have a real estate agent who gives them a welcome package on all the important numbers and places they need to know. 

My goal is for this website to be your go to resource for everything you need to know before, during, and after you move here to Provo, Utah. I want you to have the best experience and love living here as much as I do

Author Katerina Gasset - photo of me the author