To find cities with the most jobs and lower costs of doing business, you’ll have to venture to the heartland, according to Forbes’ 13th annual Best Places of Business list. Eighty percent of the top 25 regions on Forbes’ list this year are from the center of the United States.
Forbes’ rankings evaluate 200 metro areas, factoring in job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth, projected economic growth, and educational attainment.
Demographer Bert Sperling says the heartland’s success is largely due to its “extractive industries,” such as oil, gas, and mining and record-high crop prices that have added jobs.
“These economies run in cycles, and these booms and busts are often decades in the making,” Sterling says.
Many of the cities topping the list also boast at least one strong university and strong entrepreneurial activity.
Here are the top six cities to make Forbes’ list:
Des Moines, Iowa
Fort Collins, Colo.
Source: “Raleigh Tops Forbes’ Best Places for Business 2011,” Forbes.com (July 11, 2011)