News & Press Releases

Blacksburg MSA remains No. 1 best-performing small metro in Virginia

Jan 15, 2015, 10:28 AM

Blacksburg MSA remains No. 1
best-performing small metro in Virginia

January 15, 2015

Montgomery County, Virginia
Economic Development Department


  Best-Performing Small Metros in Virginia
   Metro Area VA U.S.
  Blacksburg 1st 28th 
  Charlottesville 2nd 42nd
  Winchester 3rd 45th
  Harrisonburg 4th 72nd
  Lynchburg 5th   141st
  Danville 6th 169th

Montgomery County, Virginia - For the second consecutive year, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro is the No. 1 best-performing small metro in Virginia. The ranking is based on the 2014 Best-Performing Cities Index from the Milken Institute – an economic think tank. The report examined how well U.S. metropolitan areas are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

Nationally, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area ranked No. 28 among 179 metros in the U.S. with populations of 260,000 or less. Over the past three years, the area has consistently ranked in the top 18 percent of best-performing small metros in the county, ranking No. 21 in 2013 and No. 32 in 2012.

The 2014 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranks 200 large and 179 small, U.S. metropolitan areas based on job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The indicators are intended to provide insight into the underlying structural performance of regional economies.

Known locally as the New River Valley, the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area is designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget due to its high degree of economic and social integration. The area has a population of over 180,000 and encompasses the counties of Montgomery, Pulaski, Giles, and Floyd.

In 2014, eight businesses announced plans to invest $117 million and create 520 new jobs in the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford metro area, according to data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  That includes several projects in Montgomery County, including expansions by Wolverine Advance Materials, TORC Robotics and LUNA Innovations as well as the announcement that Italy-based InMotion was establishing its first U.S. manufacturing operations in Blacksburg.

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mcded logo blueMontgomery County, Virginia - home of Virginia Tech and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg - is a progressive, technology-driven community with an abundance of outdoor amenities. The Montgomery County Economic Development Department actively supports the startup, retention and expansion of companies in Montgomery County as well as the recruitment of new businesses to the community.  To learn more, visit

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The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (MCDED) offers a number of free and confidential services and resources to help companies large and small. We welcome the opportunity to provide direct assistance to companies interested in starting, expanding or relocating a business in Montgomery County, Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Contact us today!