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Press Release

Texas, Kansas Claim Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup Awards
Top Metro and Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment, Top Mississippi River Regions Also Named

Atlanta, March 1, 2022: Texas and Kansas have won the 2021 Site Selection Governor’s Cups. This is the ninth year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Kansas claims for the first time ever for its capital investment activity in 2021. Texas wins for the 10th straight time for having the most qualified projects of any state.

The 68-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database. Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at www.iamc.org). Site Selection's yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as "the industry scoreboard." The magazine's circulation base consists of 48,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/President/COO level.

Overall data from the full 2021 calendar year show a pronounced upswing in project activity compared to data from the pandemic-affected economy of 2020. The Lone Star State's total of 1,123 projects is up by nearly 44% from its 2020 tally of 781. Ohio is second with 507, up from 419 in 2020. Next come Illinois with 480; California with 301 and North Carolina with 282. (See complete top 10 states and other Top 10 rankings from this issue below.) The biggest upward mover was California, which leaped to No. 4 from No. 16 last year.

In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, two Plains states make big moves to capture the top two spots: Kansas goes from No. 10 last year (and No. 20 the year before) to No. 1 with 139 projects (up from 70 projects in 2020). South Dakota lands at No. 2 with 41 projects, after being ranked No. 34 last year.

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Laura Kelly of Kansas deliver the kind of business climate and fiscal predictability that capital investors from around the world rely on for long-term success, even during a year unlike any other in modern memory.”

Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.

Top Metros and Micros
In this year’s Top Metros rankings, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, was No. 1 for the ninth straight year among metro areas with populations over 1 million; Dayton-Kettering, Ohio, returns to the No. 1 spot it held two years ago among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million; and multi-time champion Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, was once again in the top position among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000. Among the biggest upward movers across the three population tiers were such metros as Los Angeles; Boston; Charleston, South Carolina; Des Moines; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; Saginaw, Michigan; and Muncie, Indiana. The online and print editions of the rankings also include Top State and Top Metros by U.S. region.

In the second year of the magazine’s Top Metros Per Capita rankings, Austin-Round Rock, Texas grabs the No. 1 spot among the nation’s largest cities; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, comes from out of nowhere to the No. 1 spot among Tier 2 metros; and Sioux City sweeps the Tier 3 category by topping the rankings at No. 1 per capita as well as No. 1 overall. Strong upward movers included Richmond, Louisville and Memphis.

In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Findlay, Ohio, once again was tops among the nation's 543 micropolitan areas, tallying 24 projects last year. It’s the 10th year in a row the area just south of Toledo has garnered the honor. Second place went to Tupelo, Mississippi, followed by Wooster, Ohio; Cullman, Alabama; and a tie between Auburn, Indiana, and Batavia, New York, for fifth place. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top 100 Micropolitans, with 17 of them tallying enough projects to account for 20% of the state’s total. Indiana had 10 Top Micros for second place, while Georgia and North Carolina tied for third with nine Top Micros each.

Mississippi River Corridor
In this same issue, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin, and Union City, Tennessee-Kentucky are recognized as the overall and per-capita No. 1 metro areas along the entire length of the Mississippi River Corridor, based on private-sector facility projects tracked over an 18-month period tracing to July 2020. The Twin Cities’ 90 projects (up dramatically from 62 for the prio 18-month period) just edge out the 88 projects recorded in St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois. In the per capita category, Union City, with four projects, finishes just ahead Natchez, Mississippi-Louisiana, and Paducah, Kentucky-Illinois.

Charts of the March 2022 issue’s primary rankings can be found below. Full charts and data can be found in the rankings stories posted at the magazine's award-winning website, www.siteselection.com.

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to a qualified circulation of 45,000 executives of fast-growing firms. Celebrating its 68th anniversary this year, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Conway Data, publisher of Site Selection magazine, the Conway Analytics Report and a family of online industry newsletters, in 2017 was recognized as Georgia International Small Business of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Conway Data has been a trusted advisor to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world since 1954. Conway Data owns and manages Conway Events, organizer of worldwide FDI events, and also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council.


Governor’s Cup Top 10 States

2021 Rank 2020 Rank State Project Count
1 1 Texas 1,123
2 2 Ohio 507
3 4 Illinois 480
4 16 California 301
5 5 North Carolina 282
6 13 New York 277
7 3 Georgia 275
8 8 Virginia 273
9 6 Indiana 254
10 9 Florida 217

Governor’s Cup Top 10 States Per Capita

2021 Rank 2020 Rank State Project Count
1 10 Kansas 139
2 34 South Dakota 41
3 3 Kentucky 199
4 1 Ohio 507
5 4 Nebraska 78
6 6 Texas 1,122
7 7 Illinois 480
8 5 Indiana 254
9 8 Louisiana
10 11 South Carolina 173

Top 10 Metros Tier 1 through Tier 3

Metros with Population Over 1 Million
2021
Rank
2020
Rank
Metro State Projects
1 1 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin IL-IN-WI 441
2 2 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 389
3 3 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land TX 293
T4 T6 Austin-Round Rock TX 208
T4 8 New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA 208
6 4 Atlanta-Sandy Spring-Roswell GA 157
7 9 Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 125
8 18 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim CA 109
9 10 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 101
10 23 Boston-Cambridge-Newton MA-NH 97

Metros with Population 200,000 to 1 Million
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Metro State Projects
1 5 Dayton-Kettering OH 50
2 6 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin DC 45
3 3 Baton Rouge LA 37
4 18 Charleston-North Charleston SC 34
5 91 Sioux Falls SD 32
6 35 Des Moines-West Des Moines IA 29
7 1 Toledo OH 27
T8 10 Akron OH 26
T8 7 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ 26
T10 107 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT 23
T10 16 Lafayette LA 23

Metros with Population Less Than 200,000
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Metro State Projects
1 1 Sioux City IA-NE-SD 19
2 6 Bowling Green KY 16
T3 4 Lima OH 11
T3 T27 Saginaw MI 11
5 T68 Muncie IN 10
T6 T68 Elizabethtown-FortKnox KY 8
T6 43 Harrisonburg VA 8
T8 T27 Abilene TX 7
T8 T27 Jackson TN 7
T8 T68 Winchester VA-WV 7

Top 10 Metros Per Capita, Tier 1 through Tier 3

Metros with Population Over 1 Million
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Metro State Projects Per Capita
1 2 Austin-Round Rock TX 208 90.6
2 9 Cincinnati Oh-KY-IN 125 56
3 26 Richmond VA 71 54.5
4 2 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 389 50.6
5 1 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin IL-IN-WI 441 46.9
6 5 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson IN 94 45
7 17 Louisville/Jefferson County KY-IN 57 44.9
8 3 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land TX 293 41
9 12 Columbus OH 86 40.2
10 32 Memphis TN-MS_AR 44 32.6

Metros with Population 200,000 to 1 Million
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Metro State Projects Per Capita
1 T91 Sioux Falls SD 32 117
2 59 Topeka KS 19 82.3
3 21 Elkhart-Goshen IN 15 72.7
4 T91 Lake Charles LA 14 66.6
5 5 Dayton-Kettering OH 50 61.8
6 13 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC 22 59.4
7 45 Spartanburg SC 17 52.1
8 23 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin SC 45 48.2
9 52 Clarksville TN-KY 15 47.7
10 16 Lafayette LA 23 47

Metros with Population Less Than 200,000
2021 Rank 2020 Rank Metro State Projects Per Capita
1 1 Sioux City IA-NE-SD 19 131
2 4 Lima OH 11 107.8
3 6 Bowling Green KY 16 88.5
4 T68 Muncie IN 10 88.1
5 T68 Columbus IN 5 59.2
6 43 Harrisonburg VA 8 59
7 27 Saginaw MI 11 57.9
8 19 Kankakee IL 6 55.2
9 Grand Island NE 4 53.1
10 T68 Elizabethtown-Fort Knox KY 8 51.8

Top 10 Micropolitans
Micropolitan Projects
1 Findlay, OH 24
2 Tupelo, MS 19
3 Wooster, OH 13
4 Cullman, AL 10
T5 Auburn, IN 9
T5 Batavia, NY 9
T7 Frankfort, KY 8
T7 Danville, VA 8
T7 Martinsville, VA 8
T10 Angola, IN 7
T10 Lumberton, NC 7
T10 Fremont, OH 7
T10 Tiffin, OH 7

Top 10 States with Most Top Micropolitans
State Number of Top Micros Number of Projects
1 Ohio 17 100
2 Indiana 10 38
T3 Georgia 9 25
T3 North Carolina 9 36
T5 Kentucky 8 31
T5 Nebraska 8 31
7 Kansas 7 19
T8 New York 6 23
T8 South Carolina 6 12
T8 Texas 6 14

Top 10 Mississippi River Metros by Projects Per Capita
Rate Metro Size Population Projects
1 Union City, TN Micro 30,131 4
2 Natchez, MS-LA Micro 49,189 6
3 Paducah, KY-IL Micro 96,090 9
4 Clinton, IA Micro 46,392 4
5 Hannibal, MO Micro 38,722 3
6 Baton Rouge, LA Metro 858,571 63
7 Vicksburg, MS Micro 44,841 3
8 New Orleans-Metairie, LA Metro 1,272,258 68
9 Dubuque, LA Metro 97,590 5
10 Blytheville, AR Micro 40,066 2

Top 10 Mississippi River Metros by Projects
Rate Metro Projects
1 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 90
2 St. Louis, MO-IL 88
3 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 68
4 Baton Rouge, LA 63
5 Memphis, TN-MS-AS 58
6 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 14
T7 Paducah, KY-IL 9
T7 St. Cloud, MN 9
9 Natchez, MS-LA 6
10 Dubuque 5
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