The Milken Institute, a nonprofit think tank, has ranked the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area 3rd on its 2012 list of the top performing large cities.
Raleigh-Cary ranked 14th on the list in 2011. The Durham-Chapel Hill area ranked 21st on the list, moving up from 33rd in 2011.
The rankings are compiled using an index that measures a region's job growth, wage growth and high-tech GDP growth. Metro areas are also judged based on the number of high-tech industries that are concentrated in a region.
Raleigh-Cary outperformed the national average in several categories, including job growth and wage growth. The institute said the area filled nearly 6,000 jobs in tech-related industries.
Durham-Chapel Hill had the fourth highest concentration of technology output for any metro area, according to Milken.