Opportunity zones have garnered a lot of media and investor attention recently, which is why COMMERCIALCafé decided to compile a list of the U.S. counties with the highest opportunity zone investment potential.
The study narrowed down and analyzed 306 counties and have allocated points for the following indicators: employment, GDP, population growth, poverty rates, the educational attainment level of the labor force and the number of eligible opportunity zones within each area. The study also details the fiscal benefits of the program, the selection criteria for OZs and the importance of public sector investment along with private capital in these areas.
- Seven Colorado counties made the list.
- Denver County scored the highest for OZ investment in the state with 55.3 points and ranked 29th, surpassing most U.S. counties, and all in New York and Illinois.
- Denver was followed by El Paso County which landed 70th with 50 points.
- Travis County in Texas ranked as the top county for investment nationwide scoring 66 points overall.
- The states with the highest number of counties to make the list were: Texas with 32, followed by California with 27, Florida with 22, and New York with 17.
- A list of 8,764 approved opportunity zones provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury was used in this study.
- We have discarded unincorporated areas as well as counties with fewer than 5 OZs within their borders.
- Any entries with incomplete data for our chosen indicators were eliminated.
- Points for all indicators were distributed directly proportional to their value, except for the poverty rate indicator, for which points were awarded in inverse proportion.
Click here to access the full report.