If the Kansas City area were a country, its $122 billion economy would be the 90th largest in the world, according to this year’s economic report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The mayors group, meeting in San Francisco through Monday, makes its report as part of its efforts to emphasize the importance of urban areas to the U.S. and to advance policies that aim to help cities thrive.
Among U.S. metro areas, Kansas City’s economic output ranked 29th, about where the area usually falls in various rankings of city sizes. That’s just behind Tampa-St. Petersburg, Cleveland and Cincinnati and ahead of Columbus (Ohio), Orlando and Sacramento. All told, the report says, 35 metro areas produced more than $100 billion each.
Kansas City’s $122 billion economy was behind only 61 countries worldwide, including Ukraine at nearly $132 billion, and ahead of all the rest, topped by Morocco at $107.5 billion. The largest metro area, New York, was the world’s 12th largest, behind Canada and ahead of Australia.
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The Kansas City area economy was up more than 3.8 percent from 2013, the report said, and is expected to grow nearly 3.8 percent this year and nearly 4.7 percent in 2016.
The report, released Friday, says metro areas produced 90.7 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, 91.1 percent of wage income and 87.5 percent of jobs. Urban areas also drove the economic recovery in 2014, the report says, contributing 94 percent of new jobs and 95 percent of the increase in GDP.
The metropolitan share of the economy has been steadily increasing, the report says, from 85 percent 15 years ago to last year’s 90.7 percent. And 97 percent of U.S. metro areas saw their “GMP” — gross metropolitan output — increase in 2014.
The report also emphasized the importance of metro areas within states. The Missouri side of the Kansas City area, at $65.2 billion, provided 23 percent of Missouri’s output, and all Missouri metros provided 84 percent of the state’s GDP. The Kansas side of the area, at $56.6 billion, made up 38 percent of Kansas’ output, and all metros produced 71 percent of Kansas’ output.
New York City proper provides 80 percent of New York state’s output, and that metro area’s total $1.5 trillion output — including Newark and other urban areas in adjacent states — is actually greater than the total output of New York state.
The conference is the 83rd annual gathering for the mayors group. Sly James of Kansas City and Mark Holland of Kansas City, Kan., are among the 276 registered to attend, along with Francis Slay of St. Louis, Shelley Welsch of University City, Michael Copeland of Olathe and Jeff Longwell of Wichita.
Among the issues the conference will address are water conservation, transportation, municipal bonds, marketplace fairness, education, workforce development, apprenticeship programs for youths, technology and innovation, energy efficiency and community policing. The mayors will vote Monday on which policy initiatives to advance to Congress and the White House for consideration.
The full economic report is here.