Where does Kentucky rank for economic development projects?

By Rachel Nix, Building Kentucky

Kentucky tops Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for the South Central region for 2020.

By attracting new jobs and adding economic development projects, the Commonwealth was at the top of its regional list and third nationwide, behind Ohio and Texas.

Corporate real estate analysts regard the rankings as an industry scoreboard. The magazine’s circulation reaches 48,000 executives in corporate site selection decision making.

“The past year has been one of undeniable challenges and hardship, but 2020 also proved how resilient Kentucky is, and that virtue most certainly applies to our business community,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Even with all the pandemic’s uncertainty, companies announced thousands of quality opportunities for Kentuckians. Building an economy that works for everyone remains a top priority. We made progress last year, and we have already seen encouraging signs that our economy is prepared to take a big leap forward in 2021.”

Economic growth across Kentucky

Site Selection also recognized communities within Kentucky for their economic growth last year.

At seventh per capita and ninth in total projects for metropolitan areas with populations over 1 million, the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati region had a strong show on the list. Louisville was right behind, placing eighth in the category.

Lexington placed in the top 10 in both the per capita and overall rankings for metros with population between 200,000 and 1 million, and Bowling Green earned a tie for sixth place in total projects for metros with population below 200,000.

Kentucky tied for fifth in total projects for micropolitan areas – cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 – which included seven projects in Richmond and Berea, ranking Madison County in the top 10 nationally.

See the full rankings

Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988 to the U.S. state with the most new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the Conway Projects Database.

The South Central region includes Texas, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The full rankings can be viewed at SiteSelection.com.

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