Prosperity at a Crossroads — Targeting Drivers of Economic Growth in Greater Kansas City

Report by Metroplitan Policy Program at Brookings, Mid-America Regional Council
June 2014

The Mid-America Regional Council   (Kansas City)

Several years ago, a number of business, civic and community leaders raised the need for a more informed discussion about the economic future of Greater Kansas City. This included the desire for more sound research and rigorous analysis that can help residents and decision-makers alike better understand the economic performance of the region and begin a discussion about the future direction of the region’s economy. This report demonstrates the value of such an approach. It contains four key findings.

  1. Greater Kansas City, like other U.S. metropolitan areas, is confronting global and political forces that require renewed attention on the core drivers of economic growth and prosperity.
  2. Overall, Greater Kansas City’s economy has held steady, but there are troubling indicators in the region’s productivity and competitiveness.
  3. While Greater Kansas City exhibits strengths in the key drivers of growth and productivity, the region’s overall economic engine is not fueling high performance.
  4. Greater Kansas City’s leaders now face an important opportunity to more strategically bolster its drivers of economic growth so the region can compete and prosper, generating lasting opportunity for all.