Measuring Progress

The KC Rising metrics evaluate the performance of the Kansas City region compared to 30 peer metros. Our goal is for the Kansas City region to become a top-10 metro among its peers in three overarching metrics, which we call the three "Big Dot" goals, by 2025: metropolitan gross domestic product (GDP), quality jobs, and median household income.

Greater Kansas City’s most significant peers (and competitors) are other mid-sized U.S. metropolitan areas. To avoid any selection bias, these were chosen to be 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 (often described as “punching above its weight class”).

KC Rising has established initiatives with activities designed to implement strategies that can improve the functioning of each of the systems driving regional prosperity – Trade, Ideas and People. As performance improves, this should propel the region toward its goal of becoming a top-10 metro with respect to the Big Dots.   

The KC Rising metrics follow a parallel structure. They help us measure whether our initiatives are successfully implementing the adopted strategies, transforming the driving systems, and ultimately moving the Big Dots. Each step of the way, we use two types of measurements: level, which shows how the KC region ranks compared to its peer metros for that particular indicator, and growth, which compares KC's growth rate to that of its peers. The first measure tells us whether the region is in the top 10 (or if not, how close we are) while the second measure shows whether it is growing fast enough to become (or remain) a top-10 metro.

The data presented below summarizes these metrics. Colors indicate whether the region is in the top 10 (green), in bottom third (red), or somewhere in between (yellow and orange, with the dividing line being the region’s population rank of 16th). Arrows indicate whether the region is gaining or losing ground relative to its peers. If the region’s rank on a particular metric didn’t change over the past year, then the arrow direction is determined by whether or not the region’s growth rate improved relative its peers. Download a printable copy of this data»

BIG DOTS


Gross Domestic Product

Number of Quality Jobs

Median Household Income

17th

down
from 15th

12th

Growth rate
dropped from
18th to 20th fastest

14th

down
from 12th

TRADE

IDEAS

PEOPLE

Traded Sector Employment:
Total Employment of
Major Exporting Industries

13th


up
from 14th
Traded Sector GDP:
Total GDP of
Major Exporting Industries

Remains

12th


Growth rate increased from 25th to 24th fastest
Traded Productivity:
Average Value Per Job of
Major Exporting Sectors

Remains

12th


Growth rate is negative and ranked 29th
Innovative Industries:
High-tech Industry Employment

Remains

10th


Growth rate dropped from 8th to 12th fastest
Firm Innovation:
Kauffman Growth
Entrepreneurship Index

19th


down
from 15th
Product and Service Innovation:
Number of Patents

15th


down
from 13th
STEM Attainment:
Percent of Bachelor's Degrees
Earned in STEM Fields

26th


up
from 28th
Talent Availability:
STEM Occupation
Ease of Hiring Index

2nd


up
from 12th
Inclusive Prosperity:
Ratio of Black to White,
Non-Hispanic Median Earnings

5th


up
from 10th
Educational Attainment:
Percent of Adults (25+) with an
Associate Degree or Higher

12th


down
from 10th
Productivity:
Real GDP per Job

Remains

18th


Growth rate dropped from 10th to 20th fastest

TRADE

IDEAS

PEOPLE

Clusters – Engineering and Architecture:
Total Engineering and Architecture Employment

Remains

7th


Growth rate dropped from 8th to 20th fastest
Clusters – Life Sciences:
Total Life Science Employment

8th


up
from 9th
Competitiveness:
International Exports as a
Percent of GDP

18th


up
from 21st
Competencies:
STEM Occupation Location Quotients

11th


up
from 12th
Capital – Early Stage:
Series "A" and Angel Investment

23rd


down
from 21st
Capital – Total:
Total Equity Capital Investment

24th


up
from 28th
Culture:
Local Investor Share of
$1 Million Deals

46%


up
from 37%
Alignment:
Young Adult (25-39) Percent of Bachelor’s Degrees in STEM Fields

19th


up
from 28th
Access:
Ratio of Black + Hispanic to White Educational Attainment

Remains

21st


Growth rate increased from 30th to 13th fastest
Access:
Percent of Adults (25+) with
Some College, No Degree

20th


down
from 16th
Attraction and Retention:
Percent of the Population (25+)
that is Foreign Born
with a Bachelor’s Degree

26th


down
from 24th
Attraction and Retention:
Net Migration of Adults with a
Bachelor's Degree

30th


down
from 14th
Attraction and Retention:
Net Migration of Young Adults
(25-34)

20th


down
from 15th

TRADE

IDEAS

PEOPLE

CLUSTERS CAPITAL ALIGNMENT


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COMPETITIVENESS CULTURE ACCESS

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COMPETENCIES COLLABORATION ATTRACTION & RETENTION

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Download the quarterly update