Though we all knew it, now the nation does too, as the Hub City has topped Area Development magazine’s lists for Leading Locations, best mid-sized cities and best Southern cities. Not bad, Lafayette.

Out of 380 MSAs surveyed for Area Development’s Spring issue, Lafayette, in addition to taking the no. 1 spots for Leading Locations, best mid-sized city and best Southern city, also topped the magazine’s lists for Economic Strength, Year-Over-Year Growth and best Recession-Busting mid-sized cities.

The study was based on 21 economic indicators taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and according to the magazine: “The goal was to identify which cities across America are emerging from the recession as economic front-runners — and why.”

“Lafayette has seen significant economic growth in recent years and this recognition from Area Development reflects that,” says Gregg Gothreaux, President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “Local economic indicators have rebounded and, in many cases, exceeded pre-recession levels. With growing retail sales numbers, shrinking unemployment and a growing workforce and wages- all signs point to the fact that over the next decade Lafayette will increase its status as one of the premier cities in the South.”

The magazine also noted Lafayette’s no. 24 out of 200 ranking on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities Index for 2012 — a 69 spot jump from its previous year’s placement — and its 8.6 percent rise in employment between December 2011 and 2012, the nation’s largest.

Following Lafayette on the top 10 overall cities list were Fargo, N.D.; Odessa, Texas; Columbus, Ind.; Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.; Farmingham, Mass.; and Bismark, N.D.

The remaining top 10 mid-sized cities included: Fargo, N.D.; Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.; Farmingham, Mass.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Houma, La.; Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.; Springfield, Ill.; Burlington, Vt.; and Longview, Texas.

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