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Midwest, West Dominate MarketWatch Top Business Cities List

Des Moines, Iowa, was named number one in MarketWatch's annual survey of the nation's top cities in which to do business. The online publication, which is owned by Dow Jones & Company and focuses on investor information and analysis, says it surveyed all U.S. metropolitan areas with a population of 500,000 or more; this is a change from previous years, when only metro areas with 1 million or more residents were included. The survey results are based on 10 metrics broken into two main categories, company concentration and economic stability. "The idea of this list is to offer a ranking of the best cities for business based on results, or by looking at how many companies actually are located in a particular metro region," says Russ Britt, MarketWatch's Los Angeles bureau chief, in an explanation of the survey methodology. "That doesn't give the full picture, though, as having a company headquarters in a particular region -- or a large number of firms in a city -- doesn't necessarily mean it's prosperous... So we also look at employment data and population figures to see if an area is growing." Rounding out the top 10, in order from number two to number 10, are: Washington, D.C.; Omaha, Nebraska; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Boston, Massachusetts; Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Cities from last year's top 10 that fell out in this year's survey were San Francisco, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tennessee; and Richmond, Virginia. The full survey results are available here.

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