There was a time when cities use to rate and rank their economic prowess by the number of big-business headquarters within city lines. Earlier this week, our own Nate Berg took a look at the geography of U.S. corporate headquarters, ranking the largest American cities by their number of Fortune 500 headquarters per city.
New York led the list with 18, followed by Houston with 6, and then Minneapolis and Atlanta with 4 each.
The rankings change considerably when we factor the size of cities and metros into the equation. The map below by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute plots the number of headquarters per million people.
Now, New York drops to 13th place; Houston is 12th, Atlanta 16th. Los Angeles ranks 27th and Chicago is 31st second to last. Milwaukee takes first place on this ranking, followed by Minneapolis, Hartford, Columbus, and San Jose. Memphis, Springfield, Massachusetts, Akron, Cincinnati, and Omaha round out the top ten.
Interestingly, two factors predominate in corporate headquarters' location, according to a statistical regression analysis of these data by my colleague Charlotta Mellander — the size of the metro (measured either by population or economic output) and its talent base (measured as the share of college graduates).
Top image: Chris Keane/Reuters