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RISMEDIA, July 7, 2010—Coming on the heels of its ranking of the major markets that offer the best quality of life in America as part of its provocative new “U.S. Uncovered” series, Portfolio.com – a national business news site for small and mid-sized business (SMB) executives – revealed a companion study on the best mid-sized markets. The study compared 109 medium-sized markets with populations between 250,000 and 750,000 in 20 statistical categories. Markets given the highest scores have healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks and high-powered educational systems.

“This companion study of best mid-sized places to live can serve as a resource for those who are trying to start a business in new territories by identifying the categories that define the best qualities of living,” said J. Jennings Moss, editor of Portfolio.com.

Top 10 Mid-Sized Metros with Best Quality of Life
-Boulder, Colo.
-Provo, Utah
-Fort Collins, Colo.
-Madison, Wis.
-Ogden, Utah
-Holland, Mich.
-Colorado Springs, Colo.
-Ann Arbor, Mich.
-Des Moines, Iowa
-Manchester, N.H.

“As a hub for high-tech industries and the home of the University of Colorado, Boulder has attracted a young, highly educated workforce. Therefore, it’s unsurprising to see that slightly more than half of Boulder’s workers hold management or professional jobs that pay the highest salaries,” said G. Scott Thomas, a nationally-recognized demographer who creates the analyses for Portfolio.com. “It’s also worth noting that Boulder is among the 10 medium markets with the highest home values, lowest unemployment rates and largest percentages of self-employed workers.”

On the opposite end of the study, medium-sized markets in Sunbelt states dominate. Markets in Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas hold the nine lowest positions. With a population of 422,000 residents, Visalia, Calif. came in last place. “Visalia has the lowest percentage of management and professional workers in the study, 23.9%, which is less than half of Boulder’s 50.1%. Visalia is also last in the share of adults with college degrees at 12.7%,” added Thomas.

Happy Mid-Sized Metros = Management and Professional Jobs + Shorter Commuting Time
The top five cities with the most management and professional jobs, which tend to pay the highest salaries, are Boulder; Ann Arbor; Durham, N.C.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Madison. Those looking for short commuting times should consider Lubbock, Texas, which has the shortest at an average of 16.88 minutes. Right behind Lubbock is Lincoln, Neb.; Wichita, Kan.; Erie, Pa. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The U.S. Uncovered series – new this year to Portfolio.com – provides original, insightful analysis of the American lifestyle and business trends of interest to the highly lucrative market of small- and mid-sized business executives, who will fuel the country’s economic recovery over the next five years. Most recently, the U.S. Uncovered revealed the “Best Big Places to Live,” ranking Raleigh, N.C. as the major market offering the best quality of life. U.S. Uncovered also disclosed the rankings of “Best Cities to Have Fun,” ranking New York City as #1; “Top U.S. Wealth Centers,” naming Newport Beach as #1; “Small Business Vitality,” naming Texas the best state and Austin the top city for small business; and “Best Places for Young Adults,” naming the Southwestern region the new frontier for young Americans with Austin as #1.

For more information, visit www.portfolio.com.

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