The Tri-Cities has the nation's 13th strongest local economy, according to a new report from the research firm Policom Corp.
We're up from 35th in 2011, 70th in 2010 and 125th in 2009.
Policom puts out an annual report ranking 366 metropolitan areas across the country. The study measures 23 economic factors over 20 years.
In Washington, the Seattle-Tacoma area ranked as the third-strongest nationwide and Olympia was 11th. In Oregon, the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area came in at 51st, trailed by Bend at 110th.
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Coming out first and second nationwide are Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City.
"The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time," Policom President William Fruth said in a news release. "The rankings do not reflect the latest 'hotspot' or boom town, but the areas which have the best economic foundation. While most communities have slowed or declined during this recession, the strongest areas have been able to weather the storm."
Policom also ranks 576 micropolitan areas, which have no city with more than 50,000 people.
The top three in that category were Concord, N.H., Helena, Mont., and Lexington Park, Md. The top-ranked Washington area was Ellensburg in 37th, followed by Walla Walla at 54th. In Oregon, Pendleton-Hermiston was at 88th.