City gains in rankings for business, careers

Sunday, April 15, 2007 | 10:42 p.m. CDT; updated 3:12 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Columbia moves into third best metro area, up from previous ranking of 16th.

Columbia ranks third among cities with populations under 232,000 as best metro areas for business and careers, according to

Only Sioux Falls, S.D., and Bismarck, N.D., ranked higher, at No. 1 and 2 respectively.

Bernie Andrews, president of Regional Economic Development Inc., said there are many city rankings, but this one is special.

“It’s from Forbes, and that’s such a well-known magazine,” he said. “And Columbia is ranked third. We haven’t been that high before.”

It ranked 16th last year, according to a press release from REDI.

Columbia ranked sixth for number of colleges and number of residents with a college degree. The seven other categories were cost of doing business, cost of living, crime rate, culture and leisure, income growth, job growth and net migration.

The city’s lowest score was in income growth at 102, but Andrews doesn’t think it will remain at the bottom. He said Columbia’s job market targets a higher paid and higher skilled workforce and over time that will improve income growth.

Jefferson City placed 40th overall.

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