Top U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Economy Is Thriving

Top U.S. Cities Where Manufacturing Economy Is Thriving
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Manufacturing serves an important and critical role today in the U.S. economy. From industrial products to consumer goods, and from automobiles to aircraft, the U.S. manufacturing sector is diverse and continues to develop and evolve.

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There are 12.8 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S., which is an increase from 12.3 in 2015. Manufacturing output was $2.4 trillion and the industry accounted for approximately 11 percent of GDP.

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Many manufacturing plants closed during the pandemic, which stopped the production of various industrial products and consumer goods. The pandemic had an effect on the industry and because of the various types of products, each one was affected differently. Now that the economy has opened up again, the industry is thriving in some states more than others.

The U.S. Cities With A Thriving Manufacturing Economy

AdvisorSmith, a leading resource for small business and economic content, released the second iteration of their study to find the top 10 small, midsize, and large cities in the U.S. with a thriving manufacturing economy in 2021.

Manufacturing Economy

To find the top cities, AdvisorSmith examined various data sets in 294 U.S. cities between 2015 to 2019. They analyzed four key economic factors from each city: manufacturing output growth rate, manufacturing output per capita, manufacturing location quotient, and manufacturing employment growth rate.

From their research, AdvisorSmith found that nationwide the manufacturing output per capita was approximately $7,221. In contrast, the manufacturing output growth rate on a compounded annual growth rate basis was 2.9 percent during the study period. Manufacturing employment also grew by a compounded annual growth rate of 0.9 percent during the study period.

The study segmented the cities by metropolitan population, with small (<150,000 people), midsize (population between 150,000 and 500,000), and large (over 500,000 population) cities.

The top small, midsize, and large cities were Columbus, IN; Elkhart, IN; and San Jose, CA.

AdvisorSmith also ranked the top 50 cities for manufacturing, regardless of population size. They discovered geographically, the Midwest accounted for 26 out of the top 50 cities, while the South accounted for 13.

Midwestern cities are primarily focused on automotive, agricultural, and raw material manufacturing, while the South maintained vital oil and gas, chemical, and furniture industries.

To view the complete study, visit Advisor Smith

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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