On Wednesday, the Department of Commerce announced the U.S. economy grew a healthy 4% in the second quarter of 2014. The good news aligns with other positive economic signals, like an increase in hiring, and suggests the nation as a whole might be on the road to recovery.
Unfortunately, this rosy picture hasn't been shared equally across the United States. Some areas have recovered well, while others have struggled. A new report from personal finance social network WalletHub highlights which municipalities have made the most progress toward normalcy since the downturn, and the areas that still have a way to go. To compile the list, WalletHub analyzed 18 economic metrics for the 180 largest U.S. cities, including the inflow of college-educated workers, the rate of new business growth, unemployment rates, and home price appreciation.
Here are the results.
Most Recovered Cities
1. Laredo, Texas
Over the past seven years, this Southern Texas city's median income has increased 5% while the population has surged 13%. State-wide bankruptcy is down, and new business growth is up.
2. Irving, Texas
Irving, sandwiched between Dallas and Fort Worth, earned high marks for rising median income (up 6% since 2007) and a decreasing ratio of part-time to full-time workers. The area has seen more college-educated workers moving in.
3. Fayetteville, North Carolina
More workers moved from part-time to full-time gigs in this city than any other place. Plus more college-educated workers are coming than going, helping the population spike over 14% since 2007.
4. Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City has seen a 12% jump in median income since the financial crisis. Most impressively, it's one of the few areas to have seen home prices completely recover (and then some) from the housing crash.
5. Dallas, Texas
Dallas is still dealing with an increased ratio of part-time to full-time workers, but median income is up nearly 4% and home prices have appreciated a shocking 17% since the housing bubble burst.
Least Recovered Cities
1. San Bernardino, California
This Southern California city ranks as the farthest away from a full recovery. Both income and housing prices have dropped since 2007, with median income down 4%, and home prices down 43%. San Bernardino's ratio of part-time to full-time jobs has also gone up nearly 14%.
2. Stockton, California
This Northern California inland area isn't doing so well either. Incomes are down. Home prices have severely depreciated (down more than 43% from seven years ago), and the foreclosure rate is close to 18%.
3. Boise City, Indiana
Residents of Boise City have suffered an 8% drop in their median income since the crisis. Despite there being increasingly more full-time work opportunities, relative to part-time roles, new business growth remains far below its pre-recession level, down roughly 11%.
4. Newark, New Jersey
The median income remains down almost 5% in this urban area, adjacent to New York. Homes have been hit hard too. Housing prices are about 41% lower than they were in 2007.
5. Modesto, California
This town, which neighbors depressed Stockton, also hasn't been able to break out of its post recession funk, likely because home prices remain down about 35%, and new business growth almost 9%.