The National League of Cities (NLC) publishes its State of the Cities report to provide a comprehensive analysis of city trends based on annual State of the City addresses from mayors across the country. Our State of the Cities 2015 analysis is derived from 100 cities and represents a diverse cross section of population sizes and geographic regions.

Key findings from this year’s report:


  • For the second consecutive year, economic development was the most commonly addressed topic in mayoral speeches, with three out of four speeches (75%) in this year’s sample devoting significant coverage to the issue. 
  • Issues concerning infrastructure (57%), public safety (55%) and budgets (43%) were also commonly addressed.
  • In light of recent events concerning race relations and policing in cities, many mayors discussed issues concerning race, equity and opportunity and proposed initiatives to establish more successful and socially cohesive cities.

Cities used in the 2015 sample:

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