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Latest report ranks Philly as third best metro for Amazon HQ2

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With the potential for first place

Moody’s Analytics says Philly is a top metro for Amazon’s new headquarters.
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The latest report questioning where Amazon’s next headquarters should be ranks Philly as the third best choice, with the potential to move into first place.

That’s according to Moody’s Analytics, which just published its report on It deemed Austin, Texas as the best metro for Amazon HQ2, with Atlanta and Philadelphia rounding out the top three spots, respectively.

Moody’s took a data-driven approach to its findings, focusing on five main criteria: 1) business environment, 2) human capital (i.e. skilled workforce), 3) cost, 4) quality of life, and 5) transportation.

It number-crunched a bunch of data and provided each metro with a ranking for each category between 1 to 5.

Interestingly, Philly didn’t receive the top score in any of the five categories, though the study authors noted that it “does well on human capital and transportation and stands out for performing modestly in all categories while leading none.”

But the economists did factor in one extra category—geography—in which Philly fared quite well, garnering a score of 4.33. The study authors said if they had included geography in the ranking, “Philadelphia moves to first place and Pittsburgh moves to second place.”

Geography wasn’t included in the final calculation because it’s more of a subjective category and was not a stated factor in Amazon’s request.

Top 5 metros for Amazon HQ2

Metro Business Environment Human Capital Cost Quality of Life Transportation Geography Avg. Score Rank
Metro Business Environment Human Capital Cost Quality of Life Transportation Geography Avg. Score Rank
Austin, TX 4.62 3.27 1.87 3.46 2.21 2.17 3.08 1
Atlanta, GA 3.63 4.32 3.28 2.5 1.67 2.67 3.08 2
Philadelphia, PA 3.1 4.05 2.1 2.23 2.87 4.33 3.07 3
Rochester, NY 1.75 3.33 4.18 3.13 2.64 3.04 3.01 4
Pittsburgh, PA 2.92 3.72 3.49 2.06 2.76 3.98 2.99 5
Moody’s Analytics

The deadline for metros to submit their case to Amazon is October 19. Philly is one of many local cities making their pitch to the e-commerce giant; it’s gotten to the point that even Amtrak delayed its search for a master developer of 30th Street Station District due to the Amazon search. Word on the street is that Schuylkill Yards by 30th Street Station is being pitched by the city as a top place for Amazon HQ2 to set up shop.