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Comparing Metro Areas By GDP - Orlando Does OK


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The Atlantic has an interesting chart ranking metro areas by GDP rather than population and comparing which ones rose or fell between 1978-2010. Orlando premieres at #25 on the 2010 list with $105 billion in Real GDP. We were #26 on the population list.

A few things stood out for me:

(1) Given our GDP ranking is ahead of our population ranking suggests we're doing OK in terms of productivity, especially when critics of Orlando are constantly carping about our "low-wage" status (which always leaves out that Orange County, for example, consistently makes the list of top 50 counties based on number of millionaires on the top end and does not have the grinding poverty on the low end that cities like Atlanta and Miami endure, but that's a topic for another day);

(2) Tampa has roughly 550,000 more folks but only a $12 billion difference in GDP from Orlando. We seem to be holding our own in that competition with our neighbors :good: ;

(3) Our primary competitor in our #1 industry, tourism, which is of course Las Vegas, didn't make the cut. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that Las Vegas is almost all tourism (except the business of growth, but that was also true of us until the Great Recession). I wonder if our less-heralded sectors such as simulation, aerospace and increasingly healthcare and biotech might have something to do with that.

Any thoughts?

The GDP list:


For comparison, a ranking of MSAs by population:


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This is definitely good to see - it also reminded me of something else I've been wondering about lately. In all the brouhaha about the "Creative Village" it interests me that Electronic Arts seems to be quite content to do its thing in Maitland Center, which is about as "uncreative" an area as it gets. The same, of course, for UCF's Research Park and the location of Full Sail.

For that matter, look at Silicon Valley in San Jose - I've never been but it is always described as typical suburbia.

Obviously, there are creative sorts in other fields that value converted warehouse lofts and such from the 19th century, but it doesn't necessarily seem to be the case with techie sorts.

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