Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Berkeley, Charleston & Dorchester Counties

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Rankings & Recognition

Charleston #1 Travel Destination in the United States
Charleston was voted the Top Small City in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Reader’s Choice survey.
Condé Nast Traveler October 2015
South Carolina #3 for doing business in the United States
The state received more than 200 mentions from consultants when asked to rank the “top 5” states for business environment, labor climate, and infrastructure/global access.
Area Development, September 2015
Best City in U.S. & Canada, & #2 World's Best City
Charleston took home Travel & Leisure's top honor for favorite North American City and #2 City in the World due to its inviting hotels, excellent dining, and unique historical attractions.
Travel + Leisure, July 2015
Charleston ranked in the Top 10 Small American Cities of the Future 2015/16 for FDI Strategy
421 locations were analyzed and ranked based on population size. Data for the report included economic potential, business friendliness, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness, and connectivity.
American Cities of the Future, April 2015
Charleston metro ranked #12 for venture capital “first fundings” in 2014 by population and deal concentration
The top 20 metros (by total number of deals) accounted for 70% of all first venture fundings nationwide in 2014. There were 17 first funding deals made in the Charleston region, or three times higher than the United States per-capita level.
Brookings, March 2015
Charleston‬ metro ranked #18 for advanced industries employment
The Charleston metro ranked #18 with 34,230 (10.5% share) employees in advanced industries in 2013. Advanced industries range from automotive and aerospace manufacturing to energy activities to digital services like computer system design and software.
Brookings, February 2015
Charleston ranked #4 Best Performing U.S. metro for high tech GDP growth
The Milken Institute ranked the Charleston metro 4th in the nation for high tech GDP growth over the past five years. Sectors contributing to Charleston’s performance include: aerospace, manufacturing, and increased volume at the Port.
Milken's Best Performing Cities Index, January 2015
Charleston ranked #7 for Where the Jobs Will Be in 2015
With a net employment outlook of 21%, Charleston tied for #7 alongside Austin, El Paso, San Jose and Seattle on the Forbes list for Where The Jobs Will Be in 2015. More than 18,000 U.S. employers in the top 100 metro areas were surveyed.
Forbes, December 2014
Charleston ranked #12 Greatest Places to Live in America
Outside Magazine used factors like number of outfitters, miles of trails, and number of bike shops as well as unemployment rates, median incomes, and an editors’-choice variable to determine a place’s livability.
Outside Magazine, August 2014
South Carolina #9 in Top 10 Pro-Business States
South Carolina was ranked on 32 factors relative to state efforts to be pro-business and exhibited leadership in producing the best business environment, and thus the best opportunities for job growth and economic prosperity.
Pollina Corporate, July 2014
#5 large-size U.S. metro for prime workforce
Charleston ranked #5 among large U.S. metros for helping businesses fulfill their needs for highly trained labor pools.
Area Development, June 2014
#9 U.S. Metro for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
Charleston ranks 9th among top U.S. metros for high FDI intensity, with foreign-owned firms offering 7.2% of jobs, compared to 5% for the U.S. The report shows a sizable jump in foreign investment and employment in the Charleston region over time.
Brookings Global Cities Initiative Report, June 2014
Charleston ranked Best Cities for Jobs 2014
Charleston ranked in the midsize category for three areas including #9 Best Cities for Information Jobs; #14 Best Cities for Manufacturing Jobs; #17 Best Cities for Job Growth. The report uses five measures of growth to rank all 398 metro areas.
New Geography, May 2014
#8 large-sized U.S. metro for economic development & job growth
Area Development produces a snapshot of 379 MSAs across America that are poised to capitalize on the new potential for economic growth as the United States leaves the recession behind.
Area Development, May 2014
#2 America’s Most exciting mid-size cities
Charleston posted high numbers for young residents (35% between age 18 to 34), live music, activity options, and non-chain dining selections including FIG and Slightly North of Broad.
Movoto, March 2014
The #4 Best State to Achieve the American Dream of Economic Prosperity
South Carolina creates the conditions that enable people living here to achieve their American Dream. Those attributes include positive: job environment, job benefits, material prosperity and financial security. Ranks 6th overall.
2013 American Dream State Ranking Report, March 2014
Top twelve technology hubs in America
Charleston made StateTech’s list of the top twelve tech hubs in America that are “nipping on Silicon Valley’s heels” based on the city’s ranking in the Top 10 fastest growing cities for software and internet technology.
StateTech, November 2013
#3, Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs 2013
Charleston ranked #3 in the 'small cities' category of the '30 Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs' due to its IT jobs availability, high growth rates, and the Charleston Digital Corridor., March 2013
Charleston ranks #9 for job recovery amongst U.S. metros
The region outpaced major metros such as Dallas, New York and San Francisco in employment, output (GDP) and housing growth to achieve a #9 ranking for job recovery among the 100 largest U.S. metro areas.
Brookings Institution Metro Monitor December 2012
#1 City in the World
After taking top city in the United States, Charleston beat 10 other competitors as "Best City in the World" due to its charm, amenities, and culture.
Conde Nast Traveler October 2012
Top 25 Places to Retire (Summerville)
CNNMoney touted charm, affordability, medical centers, and median home prices as reasons why Summerville was ranked one of the nation's top 25 places to retire.
CNNMoney October 2012
Charleston is #1 U.S. metro for manufacturing job growth
Charleston experienced the largest growth in manufacturing jobs of any US metro area, from Q1 2010 to Q4 2011.
Brookings Institution Report May 2012
2012 Best Places for Jobs
Forbes ranks Charleston MSA #5 among U.S. mid-size metros and #29 overall as a best place for jobs. May 2012
Brain Gainer metros
Charleston Metro listed as #1 brain gainer for highest growth in adults with college degrees
Wall Street Journal September 2011