Study measures economic strength and vitality of communities

A research report by Policom Corporation has identified Brookings as the 16th best performing micropolitan in the United States. A micropolitan area has a population of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000, and there are 542 micropolitan statistical areas in the country.

Policom specializes in studying the dynamics of local economies. The company researches communities to determine if an area is growing or declining, what is causing this to happen, and offers ideas and solutions for improvement. Policom has created economic strength rankings for micropolitan statistical areas since 2002. Brookings was selected as a top performing community based on a comprehensive formula taking into account several economic growth factors, including:

  • Wages and Per Capita Total Worker Earnings
  • Per Capita Personal Income
  • Strength of Construction and Retail Industries
  • Welfare and Medicaid Income and Assistance

Brookings was the top micropolitan in South Dakota and the community has placed in the top 20 since 2016. Bozeman, Montana received the #1 ranking with Vineyard Haven-MA, Heber-UT, Lebanon-NH and Laconia-NH rounding out the top five.

“The Policom ranking proves that the economic development strategy for Brookings County is working,” said Al Heuton, executive director of Brookings Economic Development Corporation. “Our focus on higher wages and wealth creation, workforce training, business retention and expansion activities as well as recruitment and support for startup companies is on par with Policom’s recommended actions to achieve long-term growth and community quality.”

For more information and the complete report, visit

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