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CNNMoney.com > Small Business > Best Places to Launch

College towns
If you're looking for young, educated workers, check out these metro areas, where the post-collegiate set gathers.
Rank Metro area % of population age 25-34 with bachelor's degree Average hourly wage
1 Ithaca, NY 68.7% $21.13
2 Ames, IA 60.4% $19.44
3 Ann Arbor, MI 58.3% $23.5
4 Boulder, CO 55% $25.5
5 Iowa City, IA 54.6% $18.72
6 State College, PA 53.7% $19.03
7 Charlottesville, VA 53.3% $20.47
8 Columbia, MO 52.6% $17.6
9 Champaign, IL 52.1% $20.77
10 Boston, MA 50.9% $25.81
11 Bloomington, IL 48.7% $21.19
12 Madison, WI 48.5% $20.65
13 Durham, NC 47.1% $23.48
14 Washington, DC 46.8% $27.44
15 Corvallis, OR 46.1% $19.25
16 Gainesville, FL 45.6% $18.45
17 San Francisco, CA 45.6% $27.31
18 San Jose, CA 44.7% $30.92
19 Lawrence, KS 43.7% $16.99
20 Burlington, VT 43.7% $20.89
21 Fort Collins, CO 43.6% $20.19
22 Raleigh, NC 43.4% $20.27
23 Bridgeport, CT 41.8% $26.52
24 Lafayette, IN 41.6% $18.1
25 New York City, NY 41.6% $25.39
Source: Education data from U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 2005-2007. Wage data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.
Best Places Winners
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The factors that matter most to me are:
 Affordable wages  Few foreclosures
 Educated workers  Low housing costs
 Low crime  High local incomes
 A growing economy  Population growth
 Growing small business population

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This year we partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to find the 50 most business-friendly communities in America.

With help from Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we developed a methodology and sifted through such data on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures. More

Comments? E-mail the editors
Data partners

This package was produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Foreclosure data provided by RealtyTrac.

Housing price-to-income data provided by Moody's Economy.com.