Forbes’ 14th annual ranking of the “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” looks at 12 metrics relating to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth over the past five years, educational attainment and projected economic growth through 2014, while factoring in quality of life issues like crime rates, cultural and recreational opportunities and net migration patterns.
Also included, is the number of highly ranked colleges in an area per Forbes’ annual college rankings. The most weighting is given to business costs and educational attainment in the overall ranking. Columbia tops the Missouri cities ranked in the listing, coming in at No. 9, with Jefferson City (No. 59), Joplin (No. 62) Cape Girardeau (No. 74) and St. Joseph (No. 89) also included in the top 100.