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Forbes Ranks Raleigh 2nd, Durham 8th Among Metro Area for Business, Careers

Posted May 5, 2006

— The Triangle has been divided but its two major components, Raleigh and Durham, still rank among the best metropolitan areas in the country to do business, says

Forbes Magazine


In its latest list that was released Thursday, Raleigh ranked second and Durham eighth as best places for business and careers.

Forbes Magazine

rated 200 metropolitan areas, up from 150 a year ago, utilizing data from the Office of Management and Budget. Raleigh-Durham were split in 2003 data.

Half of the 2006 top 10 list is different from 2005. Among the cities falling off was Atlanta, which dropped to 15th.

Raleigh finished behind Albuquerque N.M. in the race for top metro area.

"People continue to flock to Raleigh - 100,000 of them since 2001," the magazine said in citing reasons for the North Carolina capital's high ranking. "Unemployment is low, 4 percent in 2005, even with the added bodies. Employers like the low business costs and educated workforce."

Forbes considered an index of factors in ranking metro areas. Among them were job growth, the cost of doing businesses (such as labor costs, energy costs, taxes, and office space).

"Durham is doing just fine on its own, thriving with the tech-savvy Research Triangle," the magazine added. "The city can lay claim to having the nation's sixth most-educated labor force: 40 percent of its adult population holds a college degree and 18 percent an advanced degree."

Raleigh received high marks for cost of doing business (43rd of 200), education attainment (11th) and net migration (12th).

Durham was 24th in cost of doing business and 65th in net migration.

The top 10 metro areas in order were:

  • Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Raleigh
  • Houston
  • Boise, ID
  • Knoxville
  • Phoenix
  • Nashville
  • Durham
  • Fayetteville, AR
  • Indianapolis
  • Other North Carolina metro areas included: Asheville 24th; Charlotte 29th; Wilmington 36th; Winston-Salem 62nd; Greensboro 78th; Fayetteville 143rd; and Hickory 163rd.

    Charleston was the highest-ranking South Carolina metro area at 56th. Columbia ranked 91st.

    Savannah, Georgia ranked 99th.

    For details, see:



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