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KC Rising Metrics: Measuring Progress

March 1, 2017

Our KC Economy team from Mid-America Regional Council joined several hundred of our close friends on Tuesday, Feb. 28, to celebrate Year Two of KC Rising — a year that saw a growing momentum in a wide range of initiatives designed to strengthen our regional economy. KC Rising’s initiatives focus on three key economic drivers: Trade (in globally competitive sectors); Ideas (innovation and entrepreneurship); and People (human capital).

KC Rising’s goal is to move the Kansas City region into the top 10 among our 30 peer metros in three key measures we call the “Big Dots” — the number of quality jobs in the region, our gross regional product, and our median household income.

MARC is helping KC Rising track the region’s progress toward these three goals with a new website launched this week, The site provides detailed data for the three “Big Dots” and the systems and strategies behind them.


Currently, the region ranks 15th among peer metros in GDP, 12th in quality jobs, and 12th in median household income. Each of those is higher than what you might expect by population (where, by design, KC ranks right in the middle of its peers at 16th). But in addition to the rank, our metrics look at the percentage change for each indicator. There, things aren’t so rosy with GDP and quality jobs; we held steady on our ranking, but didn’t grow as fast as our peers. Median Household Income tells a different story. There, we grew 9th fastest, up from 19th a year ago.

The website is organized in a bottom-up structure, with 13 regional initiatives (categorized under trade, ideas and people) that are helping to implement adopted strategies (measured by 10 primary indicators) that will help systems function better (measured by another set of 11 primary indicators), which should move the needle on the three “Big Dot” goals.

Use the links for each indicator to drill down and see the actual numbers for the last two years, find out which metro leads the pack, and see who we have to pass to get into the top 10.

It’s a wealth of data that we’ll continue to add to and update. We hope you’ll find the site a useful tool to track regional progress.

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