"As I wrote in my feature on economic recovery for The Atlantic, while many people use population as a way to gauge regional growth or decline, it actually tells us little about economic growth," says Florida. "To shed light on the connection — or, really, lack of one —between population growth and economic growth, my team and I tracked not just the recovery period but also for the entire decade of the 2000s."
"Their main conclusion: There is little, if any connection, between the two," he continues. "Here's the rub: Across the nation, fewer than one in five metros (19 percent) experienced both population growth and productivity growth over the past decade. There was no statistical association between the two, according to the team's analysis."
In a swipe at those that look to population growth as the sign of a healthy metro area, Florida concludes that "America's economic winners are not those places that are growing population fastest, but those that are developing the skills and capabilities that improve their underlying productivity."