Metro Rankings: Business Climate, Tech Talent, Corporate HQ

2023 Metro Rankings reveal cities across North America that lead for Business Climate, Tech Talent, Corporate Headquarters, Food Processing, and Growth.

RED BANK, NJ — Business Facilities has revealed the top metros in a select number of categories from its 19th Annual Rankings Report. Focused on 60+ factors pertinent to site selection teams during a corporate relocation or expansion project, this report has been a valuable and timely resource for corporate site selectors and site selection consultants for nearly two decades. The full report  — including 2023 State, Metro and Global rankings — will be published in the July/August 2023 issue of Business Facilities.

“Cities are the economic engines behind the growth of many states and larger regions,” says Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove. “As part of the Annual Rankings Report, we are pleased to recognize leadership at the local level with the Metro Rankings each year.”

Business Facilities 2023 Metro Rankings


Desirable Locations: Best Business Climate, Tech Talent Leaders

For the annual Best Business Climate rankings, Business Facilities takes into account the appeal of large, mid-sized, and small cities.

The top 3 large metros ranked for Best Business Climate are Provo/Orem, UT; Austin/Round Rock, TX; and Raleigh-Cary, NC. Rounding out the top 10 list are Nashville/Davidson/Murfreesboro/Franklin, TN; Boise City, ID MSA; Dallas/Plano/Irving, TX; Wilmington, NC; Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ; Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers, AR–MO; and Palm Bay/Melbourne/Titusville, FL.

Leading the mid-sized metros with Best Business Climate: Arlington, VA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Grand Rapids, MI. Also ranked in the top 10 are: Henderson, NV; Lubbock, TX; Madison, WI; Lexington, KY; Rochester, NY; Des Moines, IA; and Cincinnati, OH.

Leading the small metros for Best Business Climate are: Idaho Falls, ID; Logan, UT–ID; and St. George, UT. Rounding out the list are: The Villages, FL; Bend/Redmond, OR; Punta Gorda, FL; Cheyenne, WY; Missoula, MT; Sioux Falls, SD; and Gainesville, GA.

Tech Talent Leaders showcases the availability of potential employees with a concentration on tech skills. For this category, size and growth of the talent pool were primary factors, which led to three rankings, divided by size of labor pool. Canadian cities were included here.

The top 5 large metros for Tech Talent Leaders are: San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, Ontario; Washington, DC; and New York City, NY. Also ranked in the top 10 are: Boston, MA; Dallas/Fort Worth, TX; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles/Orange County, CA; and Chicago, IL.

The Tech Talent Leaders in the mid-sized cities ranking is topped by: Austin, TX; Vancouver, British Columbia; Denver, CO; Ottawa, Ontario; and Baltimore, MD. Rounding out the list are: Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Raleigh-Durham, NC; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

The top 5 in small cities as Tech Talent Leaders are: Waterloo Region, Ontario; Pittsburgh, PA; Calgary, Alberta; Orlando, FL; and Madison, WI. Rounding out the list are: Columbus, OH; Edmonton, Alberta; Indianapolis, IN; Sacramento, CA; and Hartford, CT.

Focus On Corporate Headquarters, Food Processing

Based on the number of Corporate Headquarters in their region along with the factors that business leaders take into account for a home base, the 10 locations ranked this year represent a wide swath across the U.S.

Taking the top spot in the magazine’s latest ranking is the NYC Metro area (New York City/Jersey City, NJ/White Plains, NY). The NYC Metro area occupied the top spot in 2022 and retained that position for 2023 because it has the highest number of corporate headquarters of all U.S. cities. The top 5 also include: Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land, TX; Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Alpharetta, GA; Chicago/Naperville/Evanston, IL; and Dallas/Irving/Plano, TX.

Rounding out the Corporate Headquarters category are: Boston, MA; San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara CA; Washington DC/Arlington, VA/Alexandria, VA; Richmond, VA; and Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN.

With the Food Processing industry seeing significant growth, the metros recognized in this year’s rankings are locations that are home to numerous companies in the sector, along with factors such as incentives, research resources, and strategic location. The top spot this year goes to the city of Brampton, Ontario. The other ranked metros are: Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim, CA; Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, CO; Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN-WI; Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, TX; Chicago/Naperville/Elgin, IL; Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro, OR-WA; New York/New Jersey/Jersey City, NY-NJ; Rowan County, NC; and Twin Falls, ID.

Growth Reflects Post-Pandemic Migration

The Fastest-Growing Cities, Metros, and Counties rankings this year consider population change rates for periods between 2021-2022.

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Fastest Growing Cities was led by Georgetown, TX, which also topped this ranking in 2022. The other locations ranked this year are: Santa Cruz, CA; Kyle, TX; Leander, TX; Little Elm, TX; Westfield, IN; Queen Creek, AZ; North Port, FL; Cape Coral, FL; Port St. Lucie, FL; Conroe, TX; and Maricopa, AZ.

The Fastest Growing Metros represent those MSAs with significant growth between 2021-2022. The top 3 in this ranking are: The Villages, FL; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Lakeland, FL. These are followed by Cape Coral/Fort Meyers, FL; Punta Gorda, FL; North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton, FL; St. George, UT; Port St. Lucie, FL MSA; Panama City, FL; and Spartanburg, SC MSA.

This year’s Annual Ranking Report added Fastest-Growing Counties, and the top 3 are: Maricopa County, AZ; Clark County, NV; and Harris County, TX. These were followed by: Denton County, TX; Riverside County, CA; Collin County, TX; Lee County, FL; Pasco County, FL; Polk County, FL; and Pinal County, FL.

Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years. 


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