The population of Oro Valley has increased by 25% since 2000, fueled in part by a strongly pro-business local government. The start-up business rate isn't bad either, with 83 licensed in 2007 - or two for every 1,000 inhabitants.
Oro Valley is also home to an emerging tech and biotech industry: Sanofi-Aventis, a large pharmaceutical company, just completed a new R&D center. The University of Arizona, a public research university, provides a strong talent pool. Located in nearby Tucson, the University of Arizona is also home to the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
Despite all this activity, Oro Valley offers a calm and family-friendly environment. Nearby attractions include the southern-most ski area in the U.S. and Kitt Peak National Observatory, home to the world's largest solar telescope. -Malika Zouhali-Worrall