Denver and the surrounding metro area is on the short list of cities expected to have a strong recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19. (Photo: Pieter van de Sande, Unsplash).


Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Denver and the surrounding metro area is on the short list of cities expected to have a strong recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by Moody’s Analytics.

The firm analyzed the top 100 U.S. metro areas based on two primary factors: population density and educational attainment. Cities with low population density and high educational attainment have a good chance of strong recovery. Metro areas poised to recover quickly based on the analysis include San Jose, California; Durham, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Seattle; and Minneapolis.

In addition, cities that were fast-growing pre-coronavirus will continue to rise, the Moody report says. “Denver and Salt Lake City are well-positioned to retake their crown as two of the fastest-rising metro areas in the US,” writes Adam Kamins, senior regional economist at Moody’s Analytics.

He says dynamic recoveries may not be in the areas that are historically the powerhouses and instead may take place instead in areas not in a leading position in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.

During the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2009, Kamin notes that big populated cities were the first to recover from recession. This time, however, cities that are large and densely populated are likely to be thought of as risky due to these factors.

Other factors expected to have a positive impact include economies intertwined with major university – such as Durham, North Carolina and Madison, Wisconsin. This description fits Boulder, Colorado, as well. But, it’s a factor that could also lead to peril, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pressure college enrollment and finances.

Moody’s analysis shone a light of positive expectations on unexpected cities, such as Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.

Kamins says that while these cities are somewhat isolated, both have a relatively strong financial services sector and a fairly well educated population. In addition, the farm sectors could benefit from global economic challenges.

The most challenged cities include New York, Boston, Miami, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Tourist-heavy economies like Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco are suffering from the shutdown on leisure and business travel and large gatherings.

Read the full report at
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By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit