Tallahassee Ranked #42 In List of Top 100 Small Cities

Resonance Consultancy, an industry-leading advisor firm focused on tourism, real estate, and economic development for more than a decade has released a new ranking of America’s Top 100 Small Cities. The list comprises urban areas between 100,000 and 500,000 residents and considers six key factors — place, product, people, prosperity, programming, and promotion. Based on that criteria, the firm has ranked Tallahassee the 42nd best small city in America.

“While this Best Cities ranking incorporates standard metrics for factors such as weather, crime, and household incomes, what distinguishes our methodology from all others is that we also incorporate user-generated data to quantify the number of quality restaurants, shops, nightlife and other experiences that make urban living so alluring,” said Chris Fair, President & CEO of Resonance Consultancy.

Tallahassee joins six other Florida cities in the top 100. Those cities and rankings are as follows: 

Naples (2)
Gainesville (32)
Punta Gorda (38)
Tallahassee (42)
Port St. Lucie (72)
Panama City (94)
The Villages (99)

In the rankings report, Fair adds, “The nation’s small cities—with MSA populations under half a million people—face particularly pivotal months ahead. Small center urban growth was already rising before the pandemic. Now with millions of workers increasingly able to work remotely, will the steady flow turn into a firehose? At the same time, we expect travel to drive-to destinations to recover first. As American travelers hit the road, they’ll likely look to small cities to satisfy their travel desires.” 

Tallahassee’s rankings were boosted by high marks for being a university city with great culinary offerings and strong attractions for visitors. Tallahassee’s rankings for each key metric are included below.

Place (89)
Product (19)
Programming (21)
People (57)
Prosperity (166)
Promotion (29)

As part of the listing for Tallahassee, Resonance Consultancy had the following to say about why Florida’s Capital City performed so well in the rankings.

In addition to Florida State University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, many smaller colleges thrive here. Tallahassee made it into the Top 10 for our University subcategory (#9), contributing to its overall #19 ranking for Product. (Also playing a role were its equal rankings for Attractions and Museums, both #35.) The financial outlook is sunny: a recent analysis of just six of the 100 or so projects in development found a combined economic impact of $775 million and a yield of more than 6,000 jobs. If you’ve got it, flaunt it: Tallahassee ranked #29 overall for Promotion, largely due to its social media savvy (#6 for Facebook Check-ins, #8 for Instagram Hashtags and #18 for TripAdvisor Reviews). #Impressive.

In the report, Fair also spoke to how cities can pivot to their strengths as a means for rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Based on the data we have collected over the past five years, we know that a city’s performance for factors such as Facebook check-ins, Instagram mentions, recommended culinary experiences, museums, nightlife, culture, and shopping, have some of the highest correlations with not only the number of visitors a city receives but investment and economic growth as well. Rebooting this software of urban experiences will be as important as improvements to the hardware in terms of investments in infrastructure when it comes to a city’s recovery from this crisis.”

Commenting on the new ranking, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Sue Dick said, “Our community is regularly recognized for the many outstanding attributes that attract people to live, visit, work, and play here. Tallahassee is a resilient city and the investments we continue to make in creating a world-class community here are paying big dividends. We still have work to do, but our leaders are focused, committed, and determined to see Tallahassee thrive. This is a great place to make your dream become a reality and we invite anyone to come here and chase those possibilities. 

To access the full report on America’s Top 100 Small Cities, click HERE.