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44. Oro Valley, Ariz.
Population: 35,750
Pro: It's a quick trip to the Tucson International Airport
Con: Most urban cultural amenities are six miles away in Tucson

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

Interactive map: Oro Valley, Ariz.
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Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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