The annual index ranks 200 large and 201 small metros across the country on factors such as employment and wage growth, and technology output.
The Providence metro, with a population of more than 1.6 million, fell 23 spots from its 2015 rank of 95.
Its best ranking was in the subcategory of high-tech industries, where it jumped to 35th in the country. It also was 79th in wage growth from 2009-14, 80th in high-tech gross domestic product concentration in 2015, and 82nd in wage growth from 2013-14.
Minoli Ratnatunga, one of the report’s authors, said Providence underperformed the national economy on all of the job and wage metrics, contributing to its decline on the Best-Performing Cities index this year.
“However, it was very close to the national average on both 1-year wage growth and our measure of recent job growth, pointing to possible improvements in the economic situation that would manifest in our report next year, which will include more 2016 data,” Ratnatunga wrote in an email.
“One particular and consistent strength is the diversity of the region’s high-tech industry,” Ratnatunga added.
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., claimed the top spot for the second consecutive year, with high job growth and average annual wages of $111,000, compared with $60,300 for the nation overall.
California secured six of the top 25 spots among large metros, led by four metros in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Provo-Orem, Utah, and Austin-Round Rock, Texas, tied for second place.
Rockingham County-Strafford County, N.H., was the highest ranking New England metro at 35th, dropping one place from last year.
Boston was next at 37th, a 14-spot improvement from last year. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass., fell 15 spots to 50th; Manchester-Nashua, N.H., jumped 46 spots to 63rd; Worcester, Mass.-Conn., fell 42 spots to 79th; and Springfield, Mass., dropped 30 spots to 117th.
“America’s best-performing cities yet again demonstrated their innovation advantage aligned with high levels of entrepreneurship,” Ross DeVol, chief research officer of the Milken Institute and one of the report’s authors, said in a statement. “That is witnessed not just in ‘traditional’ technology but in medical and financial services.”