The Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Crestview metropolitan area ranked 44th as a unit for best performing large U.S. cities, according to a recent report. 

The Milken Institute, a nonprofit organization "dedicated to increasing global prosperity," compiled the list using statistics such as job and wage growth.

The three cities ranked 57 in 2017 and 44th in 2018.

"To put this in proper context, we are up 13 spots from last year and are the highest-ranked metro area in Northwest Florida," Nathan Sparks, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, said in a press release. "In addition to being ranked one spot ahead of San Diego, California, we outperformed many of our inspirational communities including Huntsville, Alabama; Savannah, Georgia; and Mobile, Alabama."

The top performing largest cities overall were Provo-Orem, Utah; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.

In Florida, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford ranked 7th, followed by North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton in 22nd place and Jacksonville in 26th.

Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Crestview ranked third in the nation for 12-month job growth from August 2017 to August 2018. Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey, was first and Greeley, Colorado, was second.