Joplin ranks in the top quarter of small cities nationwide for economic dynamism, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The Small City Economic Dynamism Index to help policymakers and practitioners gain more nuanced perspectives. The index ranks 245 small U.S. cities across 14 indicators (see below) of economic dynamism in four categories: demographics, economics, human capital, and infrastructure.
Defined as less than 500,000 in population, small cities are like nerve centers connecting the regional economy. They are the hearts of their respective counties and metropolitan areas as well as hubs of employment, retail, health care, and education for people living in surrounding rural areas. Many small cities are growing and attracting new investments, but unemployment, poverty, vacant buildings, and economic distress are pronounced in some small metros.
Joplin’s rank is 59, based on the indicators pasted below. The Fed published an interactive tool online to illustrate the small cities, including comparisons of cities on the overall indicators and wide array of other research sources.