Last night, a friend alerted me to Forbes’ new list of “best places for business and careers.” This year, Provo took the very top spot. The accompanying article cites BYU, strong job growth, and an expanding population as factors that give the city an edge:
The $16 billion economy is thriving largely on the back of Brigham Young University. The school provides a stabilizing presence as the third-largest private college by enrollment in the U.S. The school is also generating new jobs. During 2010 it ranked third in the numbers of start-ups produced through university research—13 in total—behind only the nearby University of Utah(18) and MIT (17).
Job growth was a robust 3% in the Provo metro in 2011, third best in the U.S. It enjoys—by far—the lowest violent crime rate in the U.S. and ranks tenth lowest overall for crime, including property crime. The metro population has doubled over the past two decades to 542,700.
It’s significant that Provo topped the list both because there are many other cities that covet that spot, and because the article describes the larger economy as continuing to “sputter along.” Also worth mentioning is the fact that Provo specifically beat other metro areas in states like Texas and California with larger populations and bigger boom industries like oil, shipping, tourism, education, etc.
The article also uses nice a photo (not the one below in this post) of the intersection of Center and University that captures the increasingly cosmopolitan character of the city.