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Texas, Kansas Claim Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup Awards

Top Metro and Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment, Top Mississippi River Regions Also Named

Press Release

Atlanta, March 1, 2023: Texas and Kansas have won the 2022 Site Selection Governor’s Cups. This is the ninth year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Kansas claims for the second year in a row for its capital investment activity in 2022. Texas wins for the 11th straight time for having the most qualified projects of any state.

The 69-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database. Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” The magazine’s circulation base consists of more than 41,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/President/COO level.

In the third year of the magazine’s Top Metros Per Capita rankings, Austin-Round Rock, Texas repeats at No. 1 among the nation’s largest cities; Spartanburg grabs the No. 1 spot among Tier 2 metros; and Sioux City sweeps the Tier 3 category by topping the rankings at No. 1 per capita as well as No. 1 overall. Strong upward movers included Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky-Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan and Kansas City Missouri-Kansas in Tier 1; Savannah and Gainesville, Georgia; and Clarksville, Tennessee-Kentucky in Tier 2; and Manhattan, Kansas; Dubuque, Iowa; and Sherman-Denison at Tier 3.

The Lone Star State’s total of 1,028 qualifying projects in 2022 was slightly down from the state’s 2021 total but still far ahead of second-place Illinois with 487 projects, slightly up from the state’s 480 the year before. No. 3 Ohio sits just behind Illinois with 479 projects, followed by No. 4 California with 375 projects and No. 5 Georgia moving up two spots from No. 7 last year with 312 projects (see charts). The biggest upward mover in the Top 10 was No. 8 Pennsylvania, moving up from No. 12 last year with 230 qualifying projects.

In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, Kansas repeats at No. 1 with 138 projects — nearly equal to the 139 projects recorded in 2021. Kentucky’s 212 projects place the commonwealth second in this year’s rankings, followed by Ohio, Illinois and South Dakota. The biggest upward mover is No. 6 South Carolina, moving up from No. 10 last year with 191 projects.

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Laura Kelly of Kansas deliver the kind of business climate and fiscal predictability that capital investors from around the world rely on for long-term success.”

Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, nor schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.

Top Metros and Micros
In this year’s Top Metros rankings, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, was No. 1 for the 10th straight year among metro areas with populations over 1 million; Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina, ranks No. 1 among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million; and multi-time champion Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, was once again in the top position among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000.

In the magazine’s ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Findlay, Ohio, once again was tops among the nation’s 543 micropolitan areas, tallying 32 projects last year — eight more than the previous year. It’s the 11th year in a row the area just south of Toledo has garnered the honor. Second place went to Thomasville, Georgia, followed by Cullman, Alabama, and Sidney, Ohio in a tie for third; and Auburn, Indiana, and Greenville, Ohio, in a tie for fifth place. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top 100 Micropolitans, with 22 of them (five more than the previous year) tallying enough projects (115) to account for 24% of the state’s total. Indiana had 12 Top Micros for second place, while Georgia and Kentucky tied for third with 11 Top Micros each.

Mississippi River Corridor
In this same issue, St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois, and Blytheville, Arkansas, are recognized as the overall and per-capita No. 1 metro areas along the entire length of the Mississippi River Corridor, based on private-sector facility projects tracked over an 18-month period tracing to July 2021. Greater St. Louis tallied 107 projects (up dramatically from 62 for the prior 18-month period) just edging out the 104 projects in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin. In the per capita category, Blytheville, with seven projects, finishes just ahead of Muscatine, Iowa; Natchez, Mississippi-Louisiana; and Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.

Charts of the March 2023 issue’s primary rankings can be found below. Full charts and data can be found in the rankings stories posted at the magazine’s award-winning website,

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to a qualified circulation of 41,000 executives of fast-growing firms. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Conway Data, publisher of Site Selection magazine, the Conway Analytics Report and a family of online industry newsletters, in 2017 was recognized as Georgia International Small Business of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Conway Data has been a trusted advisor to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world since 1954. Conway Data owns and manages Conway Events, organizer of worldwide FDI events, and also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council.