Do You Live in America’s Most Productive City?


While the United States’ collective productivity dipped in 2015—echoing a larger world trend—American professionals are still more than 400 times more productive today than they were in 1947, according to figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (That said, Americans aren’t as productive as their peers in Germany; we still have a ways to go.)

In large part, this uptick in productivity is a direct result of the evolution of technology. In addition to automating a lot of processes that used to require manual attention, the tools, equipment and platforms on the market today have streamlined operations, making it easier for workers to do their jobs.

But technology isn’t the only thing powering productivity. It turns out that where you are physically located may play a role in your output as well.

After analyzing large swaths of data relating to America’s 116 most populated cities, the folks over at WalletHub have come up with a ranking of the most productive cities in the country. To arrive at this list, they looked at data relating to:

  • Average workweek hours
  • Commute time
  • Labor participation rate
  • How many workers hold multiple jobs
  • How many hours residents spend volunteering
  • How many days each month folks don’t get enough sleep
  • How many hours workers set aside for leisure activities

According to WalletHub’s research, here are America’s top 5 most productive cities.

1. Anchorage, Alaska

Home to a little over 300,000 residents, Anchorage is incredibly well situated, despite what you might think. Its location in southern Alaska puts in 9.5 hours within 90% of industrialized nations. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that tons of companies have set up logistical operations in the city.

There’s a military base out there in Anchorage, and there’s also a noticeable presence by petroleum companies. If you’re thinking about heading to Anchorage, though, you’ll definitely want to bundle up. The city gets more than 80 inches of snow each year, and temperatures can dip way below zero.

2. Virginia Beach, Virginia

With slightly fewer than 450,000 residents, Virginia Beach comes is the second most productive city in the country, according to WalletHub. The Guinness Book of World Records says that Virginia Beach boasts the world’s largest pleasure beach.

Tourism, as you might have guessed, is a large industry in Virginia Beach. But it’s not the only industry. Other entities that have sizeable presences in the coastal city include Amerigroup, GEICO and the Christian Broadcasting Network.

If you find yourself in Virginia Beach, here’s something you need to know: Per a city ordinance, it’s illegal to use profanity along the boardwalk.

3. Plano, Texas

The nearly 270,000 residents of Plano, Texas are doing something right to be named the third most productive city in America. There are a ton of brand-name corporations that set up shop in Plano, including Snapple, Alliance Data, Frito-Lay, J.C. Penney, Pizza Hut and Toyota. Likely drawn to Texas’ favorable tax laws, corporations have increasingly moved to Plano in recent years. Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced it was building a 6,000-person campus there.

Believe it or not, Plano was named the best place to live in the world in 2013.

4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A little more 168,500 call Sioux Falls home. According to a 2007 survey, Sioux Falls is the 47th fastest-growing city in the country. Due to South Dakota’s take on state corporate income tax—they don’t have one—many businesses, and those in the financial services industry in particular, have been drawn to Sioux Falls. But both of the city’s top two employers are in the health services industry. Together, Sanford Health and Avera Health employ nearly 15,000 people. Sioux Falls is a big city that’s more or less isolated, so many neighboring residents frequently visit.

Sioux Falls has a regional airport (FSD). Don’t get that airport confused with the one in Sioux Falls, Iowa, which has a most troubling airport code (SUX).

5. Irving, Texas

There are nearly 230,000 residents in Irving, which is part of the Dallas—Fort Worth metroplex. Some of the city’s bigger employers include Citigroup, Verizon, Allstate, Nokia and Microsoft. Like Plano, Irving is home to a ton of corporate headquarters too, including Quinta Inns and Suites, Michaels Stores, and ExxonMobil. Irving also used to be the home of the Dallas Cowboys, but Texas Stadium was demolished in 2010.

Legend has it that the city, which was founded in 1903, was named after the writer Washington Irving.

There you have it.

But one last thing: If you live in Burlington, Vermont, you might want to consider moving (even though it’s an incredible place). Per WalletHub’s metrics, Burlington is the least productive major U.S. city, trailed by Detroit and Providence.

(Visited 189 times, 1 visits today)