The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area economy ranks as the No. 3 strongest in the nation, as measured by independent economic research firm Policom Corp.
Policom bases its rankings on the longer-term performance of city economies. The study measures 23 different economic factors over a 20-year period, determining how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time with data from 1991 to 2010 used in its latest rankings.
The strongest economy according to the ranking was the Washington, D.C., metro area, followed by Des Moines, Iowa. Nashville and Austin round out the top five after Seattle.
“The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time,” Policom president William Fruth said in a statement. “The rankings do not reflect the latest hot spot or boomtown, but areas which have the best economic foundation.”
Salt Lake City, Madison, Wis., Kansas City, Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Antonio round out the rest of the top 10.