Measuring Progress

The KC Rising metrics evaluate the performance of the Kansas City region compared to 30 peer metros. Peers were chosen as the 15 metros immediately larger and immediately smaller than Kansas City by population. By design, then, the Kansas City region is the 16th largest metro among 31 peers and any metric on which it is performing better than 16th can be considered one in which it is doing better than expected. Our goal, though, is for the Kansas City region to become a top-10 metro among its peers in three overarching metrics, which we call the "Big Dots"—metropolitan gross domestic product (GDP), quality jobs, and median household income.

This is a tall task, one expected to take 10 or more years. It will take aligning civic efforts around clear and effective strategies aimed at changing the systems that drive regional progress—Trade, Ideas and People. The KC Rising metrics measure the degree to which those strategies are producing short-to-medium-term impacts that have the potential to transform the performance of the driving systems. These measurements evaluate the region’s economic competitiveness in terms of changes to its current rank and rate of growth relative to its peers. Download a printable copy of this data»

 

Gross Domestic Product

Number of Quality Jobs

Median Household Income

20th

down from 17th

13th

down from 12th

16th

down from 14th
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis Source: Jobs EQ Source: American Communiy Survey

Employment and capital rankings cover 2017-18, while all other rankings cover 2016-17. Trendlines compare the amount of change between Kansas City and its peer average over the most recent four years.

Traded Sector Employment:
Total Employment of
Major Exporting Industries

12th

no change
Source: Jobs EQ
Traded Sector GDP:
Total GDP of
Major Exporting Industries

12th

no change

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, MARC
Traded Sector Productivity:
Average Value Per Job of
Major Exporting Sectors

12th

down from 11th

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, MARC
Innovative Industries:
High-Tech Industry Employment

9th

up from 10th

Source: Jobs EQ
Firm Innovation:
Kauffman Growth
Entrepreneurship Index

(out of 26 peers)

19th

down from 15th

Trend information not available
Product and Service Innovation:
Number of Patents Assigned to Metro Area Residents and Businesses

16th

down from 15th

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
STEM Attainment:
Percent of Bachelor's Degrees
Earned in STEM Fields

28th

down from 26th

Source: American Communiy Survey
Inclusive Prosperity:
Ratio of Black to White,
Non-Hispanic Median Earnings
for Full-Time Workers

18th

down from 5th

Source: American Communiy Survey
Educational Attainment:
Percent of Adults (25+) with an
Associate Degree or Higher

15th

down from 12th

Source: American Communiy Survey
Total Productivity:
Real GDP per Job

19th

down from 18th

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Calculation by MARC.

Employment and capital rankings cover 2017-18, while all other rankings cover 2016-17. Trendlines compare the amount of change between Kansas City and its peer average over the most recent four years.

Clusters – Engineering and Architecture:
Total Engineering and Architecture Employment

8th

down from 7th

Source: Jobs EQ
Clusters – Life Sciences:
Total Life Science Employment

8th

no change

Source: Jobs EQ
Competitiveness:
International Exports as a
Percent of GDP

18th

down from 15th

Source: Brookings Institution
Competencies:
STEM Occupations
Location Quotient

10th

up from 11th

Source: Jobs EQ
Capital – Early Stage:
Series "A" and Angel Investment

17th

up from 21st


Peer average trendline excludes San Jose.
Source: CB Insights and KCSourcelink
Capital – Total:
Total Equity Capital Investment

18th

up from 23rd


Peer average trendline excludes San Jose.
Source: CB Insights and KCSourcelink
Culture:
Local Investor Share of
$1 Million Deals

No peer comparison available.

24%

down from 46%

 

Trend information not available.

Alignment:
Young Adult (25-39) Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees in STEM Fields

27th

down from 19th

Source: American Community Survey
Access:
Ratio of Black + Hispanic to White, Non-Hispanic Educational
Attainment (25+)

25th

down from 21st

Source: American Community Survey
Access:
Percent of Adults (25+) with
Some College, No Degree

A low value is ranked higher.

12th

no change

Source: American Community Survey
Attraction and Retention:
Percent of the Population (25+)
that is Foreign Born
with a Bachelor’s Degree

27th

down from 26th

Source: American Community Survey
Attraction and Retention:
Net Migration of Adults with a
Bachelor's Degree

21st

up from 30th


Trendlines measure amount of net migration
over last five years.
Source: American Community Survey
Attraction and Retention:
Net Migration of Young Adults
(25-34)

15th

up from 20th


Trendlines measure amount of net migration
over last five years.
Source: American Community Survey
CLUSTERS CAPITAL ALIGNMENT
Clusters of firms organize around a region’s competitive advantages. Because such firms are deeply embedded in the local economy, engaging with them to improve their performance can help pull up the rest of the economy as well.

Commercializing ideas takes capital, but area entrepreneurs have historically struggled to find early-stage financing. The region needs to develop more resources for local early-stage investing.

Businesses are often unable to find talent with the skills they need, yet new curricula take time to implement. To meet the workforce demands of today and tomorrow, businesses and educational institutions must engage in rich conversations that promote greater innovation on both sides in the development of high-demand talent.
COMPETITIVENESS CULTURE ACCESS
Regions grow when their clusters effectively compete with the rest of the world. Improving their capacity to export goods and services to larger markets increases the dollars flowing into the region, fueling its economic growth. There may be sufficient wealth in the Kansas City region to increase funding of early stage deals, if local investors were willing to take the risk. Greater education on how to evaluate such deals is required to unlock this capital.

Inclusive preparation is required to achieve inclusive prosperity. Programs are needed that address both skill gaps and opportunity gaps—in financing education, obtaining real-world work experience and changing perceptions.

COMPETENCIES COLLABORATION ATTRACTION & RETENTION
As clusters successfully compete, their workers develop specialized competencies. These allow not only greater efficiency, but enable faster creation and adoption of new technologies, opening new growth opportunities. An innovation ecosystem of startups, corporations, universities and investors is required to commercialize innovation. Creating more avenues to develop trust and encourage collaboration is essential to increasing the pace at which ideas become successful products. People move to a new region when they think it can provide them a better life. Becoming known as a welcoming place that enables the advancement of all its residents is essential for regional success.

CLUSTERS CAPITAL ALIGNMENT


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COMPETITIVENESS CULTURE ACCESS

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Download the quarterly update


COMPETENCIES COLLABORATION ATTRACTION & RETENTION

Download the quarterly update


Download the quarterly update