Resonance Consultancy, the leading advisors in tourism, real estate and economic development for countries, cities and communities, unveiled America’s Best Large Cities for 2018.
America’s Best Large City in 2018 is New York, whose domination of our six categories and 28 subcategories—from Crime Rate to Instagram Hashtags— made it America’s best place with a population of more than one million.
Fifty winning large cities were unveiled at a June 5 reception at New York University as part of the City Nation Place Americas forum, an annual conference for destination branding, economic development and tourism marketing that’s co-produce by Resonance.
(America’s Best Small Cities, the Resonance ranking of metros with populations of less than 1 million, was also unveiled and can be referenced here.)
The large and small city rankings, gathered into the America’s Best Cities Report, are one of the most comprehensive American city rankings ever attempted. It was developed to quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity for U.S. principal cities with metropolitan populations of 200,000 to 1 million.
“For more than a decade, Resonance has created place-branding strategies, tourism and economic development plans and trend reports for city, tourism and economic development organizations,” says Resonance President and CEO Chris Fair. “We do this to empower cities with new tools and perspectives on the key factors that shape a city’s competitive identity, community well-being, and future prosperity.”
Fair says his firm has come to understand that traditional indicators for economic, social and livability factors used in most rankings don’t reveal the whole story for cities and their tourism and economic development agencies. Why? Because it’s the relative vibrancy and experiential quality of cities that are increasingly determining where talent, tourism and investment flow.
As a result, Resonance Consultancy’s Best Cities rankings analyze and compare 28 factors in six key categories using a combination of core statistics to measure those traditional economic, social and livability factors as well as user-generated ratings and reviews to benchmark the experiential qualities of each city. The six categories are:
The perceived quality of a city’s natural and built environments, including the subcategories of Air Quality, Weather, Crime Rate, Neighborhoods & Landmarks, Parks & Outdoor Activities, and Commute Time To Work.
A city’s key institutions, attractions and infrastructure, including the subcategories of University Rankings, Airport Connectivity, Convention Center Size, Entertainment, Museums, Sports Teams, and Housing Affordability.
The arts, culture, entertainment and culinary scene in a city, including the subcategories of Shopping, Culture, Culinary, and Nightlife.
The immigration rate and diversity of a city, including the subcategories of Education, Foreign-born Residents, and Languages Spoken at Home.
A city’s employment, GDP per capita and corporate head offices, including the subcategories of Unemployment, Household Income, and Fortune 500 Companies.
The quantity of stories, references and recommendations shared online about a city, including the subcategories of Google Search Results, Google Trends, Facebook Check-ins, Instagram Hashtags and TripAdvisor Reviews.
An average of a city’s rankings in each of these categories is used to determine the overall Best Large Cities in America, which are:
LARGE CITIES (POP. 1 MILLION+)
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas
- San Diego
The full 2018 America’s Best City Report, including the Top 10 Large and Small Cities, category leaders and full city rankings, are available for free downloaded at ResonanceCo.com/Our-Reports.