The top 25 metro areas make up half of the U.S. GDP. The other 359 smaller cities account for a little over 38 percent of national GDP. As Statista’s Sarah Feldman points out, it only takes 19 of the biggest powerhouse cities to make up the same percent of total GDP as the other 359 cites.
The rural-urban divide gets a lot of press, while the divide between major metropolises and smaller ones often gets overlooked.
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These smaller cities often face the struggles of aging populations, young workers leaving to coastal cities, and shrinking economies, once bolstered by manufacturing jobs and industries. These U.S. cities, like Cleveland, Columbus, and Buffalo have been struggling to jump start economic development.
The division between bigger cities and smaller cities has a geographic component to it too. Over half of the top 25 economic powerhouses are located on one of the coasts, further playing into the divide between coastal metro areas and the interior of the country.