Springs best performer among Colorado cities

Of the five Colorado metropolitan areas surveyed in the national Best-Performing Cities index released on Thursday, all but one performed worse than last year.

Colorado Springs slightly improved its standing among 200 large and small cities included in the survey, bumping up from a ranking of 101 last year to 99 in the current list.

Every other Colorado city took a beating, however, but none more so than Greeley, which plummeted from the No. 20 position in 2009 to 101. The nosedive makes it the city with the fourth largest fall in the rankings nationwide. Only Santa Barbara, Calif.; Fort Smith, Ark.; and San Jose, Calif. lost more ground.

As for the other Colorado cities included in the report: Boulder fell from 44 to 56; Colorado Springs rose from 101 to 99; Denver-Aurora fell from 55 to 63, and Fort Collins-Loveland fell from 22 in 2009 to 50.

Led by Texas, the South (including Huntsville, Ala. at No. 3) held 21 of the top 25 positions. The Northeast and West each had two metros in the top 25.

The annual report from the Milken Institute, a think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., gauges cities’ economic health through an analysis of one- and five-year job growth, one- and five-year salary and wage growth, workforce quality, access to capital, concentration of high-tech industries relative to the national average, housing and utility costs and other factors.