The Mankato Free Press
---- — MANKATO — Each year Forbes releases its list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers among all Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the nation with populations fewer than 250,000. For 2013, the Mankato-North Mankato MSA, ranked 10th in the nation on the list, moving up from 11th in 2012 and 25th in 2011.
The Mankato-North Mankato MSA includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties.
In compiling the list, Forbes considered 12 metrics relating to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth over the past five years, educational attainment (college and high school) and projected economic growth through 2014.
They also factor in net migration patterns, cultural and recreational opportunities and the number of highly ranked colleges in an area. Forbes gives the most weighting to business costs and educational attainment in the overall ranking.
Other Minnesota MSAs on the list were Rochester at 35th and St. Cloud at 55th.
Forbes also released a list of Best Places for Business and Careers for MSAs with populations of 250,000 or greater. Minneapolis-St. Paul ranked 23rd and Duluth ranked 115th.