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CNNMoney.com > Small Business > Best Places to Launch

Smallest GDP growth
These metro areas had the slowest GDP growth from 2001-2006.
Rank Metro area GDP growth GDP (in millions) Population
1 Muncie, IN 3% $3,147 114,685
2 Saginaw, MI 4% $6,592 200,745
3 Springfield, OH 5% $3,384 139,859
4 Kokomo, IN 6% $3,741 99,304
5 Anderson, IN 6% $3,109 131,501
6 Flint, MI 7% $12,092 428,790
7 Harrisonburg, VA 8% $4,822 118,409
8 Boulder, CO 8% $16,263 293,161
9 Rocky Mount, NC 9% $5,199 146,356
10 Macon, GA 9% $7,345 230,777
11 Detroit, MI 9% $199,288 4,425,110
12 Danville, VA 9% $2,694 105,783
13 Springfield, IL 11% $7,829 207,389
14 Bay City, MI 11% $2,690 107,495
15 Pocatello, ID 12% $2,301 88,495
16 Topeka, KS 13% $7,974 229,619
17 San Jose, CA 13% $135,080 1,819,198
18 Mansfield, OH 13% $3,801 124,999
19 Anderson, SC 13% $4,378 182,825
20 Hickory, NC 14% $11,732 363,036
21 Greenville, SC 14% $22,939 624,715
22 Gainesville, GA 14% $5,660 184,814
23 Decatur, IL 14% $4,680 108,328
24 Albany, GA 14% $4,541 164,919
25 Santa Cruz, CA 15% $9,709 253,137
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area for 2006.
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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.