View the current FEC Index [ Released December 2015 ]
View previous FEC Index releases
Competition among communities for new talent and responsible investment is fierce. The Fourth Economy team has worked on various community and economic development projects across the country. We have witnessed firsthand the ways that communities and organizations are responding to their new economic reality. We continue to learn a lot about how and why competitive communities attract sustainable investment in the “fourth economy.”
We are building upon these experiences to launch the Fourth Economy Community Index (#FECIndex). This is not another stale “best places” ranking. Rather, this index will serve as a high level dashboard for community stakeholders to gauge their capacity to attract and retain sustainable investment.
The Fourth Economy Community Index will examine both statistical and qualitative factors at the County level within five areas: 1) Investment, 2) Talent, 3) Sustainability, 4) Place, and 5) Diversity. Our experience suggests that these five areas serve as a foundation for future economic success.
How Does the FEC Index Work?
Our team has divided all of the U.S. counties into four classification categories based on population: Mega-, Large-, Mid-, and Small-size categories.
Key data are collected to include wage and employment growth, education levels, drive times, home values, minority business ownership, agricultural capacity and population density. The measures are weighted based on the level of influence they have on both internal and external investment decisions.
FEC Index Current Map
View FEC Index Counties in a larger map
FEC Index in the News
“We are honored to see Lehigh County recognized by Fourth Economy as one of the leading economic growth counties in the United States, said LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham. “It is always good to see national entities discover what we know is happening here in the Lehigh Valley. It confirms what we continually are seeing that businesses want to start here, grow here and come here, on both sides of the Lehigh Valley.”
Lehigh County is going places says an economic consulting group. The county has been named one of the top 10 counties in the U.S. to attract future growth and investment.
Lehigh County is ranked seventh in a top ten list of communities recommended for investment by a Pittsburgh economic consulting group, according to a WFMZ report.
“A year ago, our regional leadership came together to identify collaborations for growing our economy," Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First said in a press release. "We already had a lot of good things in motion but it was our decision to work together towards a common goal that has been the key differentiator. We are proud to be recognized by the Fourth Economy Index and look to keep our momentum moving forward."
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The latest release of the “Fourth Economy Community Index” lists the nation’s top 10 large-sized Fourth Economy Communities. These communities are those ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth. Kalamazoo County is listed among those Top 10 communities.
A Pittsburgh-based economic development consulting firm ranks Linn County No. 4 on its list of large U.S. counties ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.
“A year ago, our regional leadership came together to identify collaborations for growing our economy. We already had a lot of good things in motion but it was our decision to work together towards a
common goal that has been the key differentiator. We are proud to be recognized by the Fourth Economy Index and look to keep our momentum moving forward,” said Ron Kitchens, chief executive
officer of Southwest Michigan First.
WOOD COUNTY, OH (Sentinel-Tribune)- Wood County has been ranked among the top 10 small counties in the U.S. in a new economy index. Unlike other "quality of life" surveys, which are a "little squishy," the National Fourth Economy Community Index is based on hard data, according to Steve McKnight, of the Pittsburgh-based Fourth Economy Consulting. "This is all data driven," McKnight said this morning of the rankings.
Wood County was ranked ninth in the nation, and is the only Ohio county to make the list.
Lubbock County ranks ninth in the nation on the recently released 2012 Fourth Economy Index Listing of mid-sized counties (population of 150,000 to 300,000). The Fourth Economy Index highlights communities ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth within the “fourth economy.”
PITTSBURGH (FourthEconomy.com) – The 2012 Fourth Economy Index Listing for small and mid-sized counties has been released. Three Texas counties are identified as having a strong capacity to attract and retain sustainable investment.