Life Sciences Emerging Markets Index: Poised for a new paradigm of growth

First-mover opportunities for life sciences companies and investors

At the beginning of 2021, JLL Research expanded its lens on life sciences to capture the qualities that define a new set of emerging life sciences markets. While the traditional top markets of Boston, San Francisco and San Diego will likely retain their positions, it is increasingly clear that the next tier of markets is poised to ascend – and offer valuable opportunities to both investors and occupiers as they build scale. With this in mind, we present our Emerging Life Sciences Markets Index. Our proprietary categorization and ranking index evaluates metro areas with respect to a wide variety of metrics chosen to best reflect the most critical qualities of life sciences markets on the upswing.

What considerations were part of our Emerging Markets Index?


We began the development process for our Emerging Life Sciences Markets Index by determining what factors would best capture the most dynamic and substantial trends within the industry. Given our deep experience within this sector, we knew that we would start with economic and demographic demand indicators to pinpoint where the real estate response should occur in the coming years. We cast a wide net, examining 110 US markets to make sure we captured as many green shoots as possible.

  • We started with the employment landscape. Where are life sciences jobs growing the most, and how was that reflected in life sciences wage growth?
  • Next, we evaluated the talent pipeline across markets. What markets have risen to the top with respect to an accelerating concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals?
  • Finally, we created a measure of potential, which is designed to reflect transformational upside with respect to the life sciences industry in a given market and includes relevant demographic indicators that will enable the market to mature into long-term national prominence.

The result of this research is a three-pronged model:

  • Momentum: measures the size of the life sciences employment base and the industry’s momentum
  • Talent: measures educational attainment and demographic tailwinds
  • Potential: measures forecasted growth of key market performance indicators such as millennial population, median household income growth, and housing availability
To learn more about our Emerging Life Sciences Markets and which geographies are key to enter on the ground-up, download our report by filling out this form



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