Siouxland “King of the Hill” in Economic Development

The Sioux City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), also known as the Siouxland tri-state region, retained the nation’s top spot for per capita economic development performance for populations under 200,000 for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, in the competitive ranking among states, the State of South Dakota was recognized as the top performing state in the nation based on per capita economic development projects for the 2023 calendar year.

According to results released by Site Selection magazine, the Siouxland MSA earned the top national per capita ranking for its population category for January through December 2023. Siouxland also finished first in 2020, ‘21, and ‘22.  The per capita ranking made its debut in Site Selection in 2020 and Siouxland has earned the title in each of the four years this data has been tracked and published by the economic development trade publication based in suburban Atlanta.

The magazine article exclaimed, “In this year’s per capita contest, perennial leaders in the tri-state Siouxland region encompassing Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff and Le Mars, Iowa; South Sioux City and Dakota City, Nebraska; and North Sioux City and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, find themselves king of the hill once more, outdueling Bowling Green for the per capita crown.”

The news was welcomed by local business leaders and economic development professionals. Lance Morgan, who is the President and CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc. and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI) commented on the rankings saying, “The Siouxland region is proud to continue to perform so well in these annual national rankings. We do not take this recognition for granted and we will take this opportunity to actively promote the continued diversification of the businesses that contribute to our region’s vitality and success.” Morgan is now completing the second year of his two-year term as TSI’s Board Chair.

Adam Bruns, who serves as Editor in Chief and Head of Publications for Site Selection, addressed the tri-state area’s collective performance explaining, “In the last calendar year, the projects in Siouxland, remarkably, were distributed almost equitably across the three states.” Noting the area’s strengths in food processing, Bruns fondly recalled visiting local eateries, including El Fredo’s Pizza, Milwaukee Weiner House, and Stone Bru Coffee Co. “The advantages and clustering found at any juncture of city or county boundaries are only accentuated when there are three states and the Missouri River involved,” he added. “Prospects have choices, and they are choosing the region.”

TSI President, Chris McGowan added, “We are grateful to Site Selection magazine for their decades of work in this field, and appreciative of the executives and the corporate decision makers who consistently choose to expand and locate in Siouxland.” McGowan also credited and congratulated the regional economic development professionals who work tirelessly to grow the regional economy.

Each March, Site Selection magazine publishes its annual rankings. The publication specifies, “Qualifying projects are those meeting one or more of Site Selection’s criteria for inclusion in the Conway Projects Database: a minimum investment of $1 million, creation of 20 or more new jobs, or 20,000 square feet or more of new space.”