The Richmond area fell near the bottom in economic growth among the world's 200 largest metro areas in 2011, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution.
That reflects slow growth in much of the developed world, especially in metro areas with a concentration of government employment, according to Brookings' Global MetroMonitor report scheduled to be released today.
Only two metro areas in North America — Houston and Dallas — ranked among the world's 40 fastest-growing large metro economies in 2011, a list dominated by the Asia-Pacific region, the report says.
The report ranks areas by metropolitan gross domestic product, per-capita income, employment growth and other factors.
The Richmond region ranked No. 191, with per-capita income growth of 0.2 percent and an employment decline of 1 percent, both in 2011 as compared with 2010. The report classifies that as a "partial recession."
In comparison, the region had an average annual income growth of 1.6 percent and employment growth of 1.7 percent from 1993 to 2007, the report says.
Other state capitals such as Sacramento, Calif., and Atlanta also were near the bottom of the rankings.
"It reflects what was going on at the state and local level in terms of cutbacks in government spending," said Alan Berube, a senior fellow at Brookings. "That tends to reverberate in other industry areas that these metro areas tend to specialize in, including education and health care."
Berube said the Richmond region also continues to suffer from major cutbacks in the financial sector during and after the recession.
In a December report, the Brookings Institution reported that the Richmond region was among the 20 weakest-performing U.S. metro areas in recovering from the recession.
The slowest regional economies in the U.S. included a mix of places that were hamstrung by poor housing markets or were dependent on trade with fragile European partners, or that have significant government employment.
The best performing U.S. metro areas had concentrations in industries such as commodities, which includes the oil industry in Houston and Dallas and Oklahoma City, or they had large, diversified financial services sectors, or heavy manufacturing sectors that bounced back strongly in 2011 from the recession.