RALEIGH – In your face, Raleigh.  A new report ranks Raleigh just 25th best in the nation for being prepared for a “smart city” future.

Not only did Raleigh rank 25th, one of the region’s top competitors for economic development projects, job growth, technology talent, and innovation ranked first overall.

That’d be Austin, Texas – Raleigh’s rival for all things tech from jobs to business to workforce.

And there’s more salt to pour into the wound: Charlotte outranked Raleigh, finishing 20th overall in the analysis.

There is a silver lining, however.

That’s because Raleigh outranked both Austin and Charlotte when it came to the tech job market in each region, according to the report from ProptechOS.

While Austin ranked 21st in this category of the analysis and Charlotte ranked 20th, Raleigh ranked 14th.

Overall, however, Raleigh’s labor market lags Austin, Texas, according to a new analysis from WalletHub which ranked Raleigh 36th on a list of 182 U.S. cities.  By that analysis, Austin outranked Raleigh, finishing ranked 20th overall.  The WalletHub study found San Francisco as the top-rated city in which to find a job with Columbia, Maryland, a city in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, ranked second overall.  Charlotte ranked 51st in that study, with Durham ranking 63rd.

Raleigh is No. 2 ‘Tech Town’ in US behind Austin; Durham ranks 13th

Raleigh in the middle

Overall, the analysis compared 50 cities, with Raleigh ranked 25th, or right in the middle.

Other than ranking among the top 15 cities in the U.S. for tech sector job market, Raleigh ranked about in the middle of the other two categories measured by the analysis, technology infrastructure and green infrastructure.

Raleigh ranked 27th for technology infrastructure and 26th for green infrastructure.

In total, the rankings tracked 11 independent metrics within each of those three categories, then assigned a score and an indexed score to each city in the sample.

Those metrics included the number of free WiFi hotspots, the download speed of broadband internet, the availability of an airport or multiple airports, the number of publicly-accessible electric vehicle charging points, and the number of tech jobs and tech job availability per capita.

“The reality is that technological advances will steer the economy and how we live our lives,” Tom Synder, executive director of RIoT, told WRAL TechWire in 2021.  “This has been proven throughout all of history.”

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Top 10

The top ten cities overall were:

  1. Austin
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Seattle
  4. San Francisco
  5. Atlanta
  6. Washington DC
  7. Dallas
  8. New York City
  9. San Jose
  10. Portland

Durham was not included in the 50 cities analyzed.

Morrisville was among the finalists for a Smart City award in 2020.  Cary implemented a new $2 million Smart City infrastructure project in 2021.