News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: February 24, 2021



The 2021 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index named the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area No. 17 Best Performing MSA in the United States and No. 2 Best Performing MSA in Alabama.

The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. 

“Opelika has sustained growth for many years. This is in large part due to our city being able to attract major industries, as well as take care of our medium to small businesses. We are also fortunate to have incredible education opportunities, strong workforce development partnerships, unparalleled school systems and an affordable cost of living,” says Mayor Gary Fuller. 

According to the Milken study, the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area jumped up six rankings this year. A few of the key factors that helped with the jump in our over-all ranking are the consistent job growth in our area and the steady improvement in wages. The Auburn-Opelika MSA also scored very well compared to the rest of the nation with “High-Tech GDP”, broadband availability and steady population growth.

“I’m glad to hear of this national recognition by the Milken Institute. No question the Auburn/Opelika MSA is currently experiencing tremendous growth and success. We are fortunate to have visionary leadership here in Opelika to support and foster our community’s continued development,” says Lori Huguley, CEcD, Opelika Economic Development Director.

For a copy of the full report, please visit To learn more about Opelika, please visit