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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Forbes ranks Innovation Valley 17th best in nation
05/18/05 - Innovation Valley workforce ranks in top 20 percent
May 9, 2005 - Forbes magazine has ranked the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley the 17th best place in the nation to do business and have a career. It is the only Tennessee metropolitan area to make the top 20 overall ranking.

The annual Forbes Business and Career survey studies the 150 largest metro areas in the nation. It bases overall rank upon performance in nine categories. The Innovation Valley did especially well in two of the three most important measures --- the cost of doing business (20th place) and in job growth (at 24th spot).

Knoxville's job growth was well ahead of all other metro areas in the state.

Only our score in educational attainment seems to be keeping the region from moving even higher in the rankings.

Here's how the region compares with the other Tennessee metro areas in terms of overall ranking and in the three most important sub-categories, cost of doing business, job growth and educational attainment:


Cost of Doing Business Job Growth Educational Attainment Population
17 Knoxville, TN 20 24 84 722,000
43 Nashville, TN 21 60 52 1,306,000
64 Johnson City, TN 19 95 136 491,000
119 Memphis, TN 25 90 94 1,184,000
122 Chattanooga, TN 32 71 119 480,000
Source: Forbes magazine

In giving its overall Business and Career rankings, Forbes also considers six other categories: number of engineers (considered a key to high tech growth), cost of living, crime rate, culture and leisure, income growth and net migration. Here's how Knoxville fared against the nation's 150 largest metropolitan areas in all nine categories:

#17 Knoxville TN
Population: 722,000

Engineers (1) 49
Cost of Doing Business (2)
Cost Of Living (3)
Crime Rate (4)
Culture & Leisure (5)
Educational Attainment (6)
Income Growth*
Job Growth*
Net Migration*
Overall 17
Source: Forbes magazine

Boise, Idaho, received the top overall ranking, but Knoxville actually got a better score than Boise for the cost of doing business (20th versus Boise's 22nd ranking). Knoxville's also outpaced 2nd overall Raleigh in the important sub-category of job growth (24th ranking compared to Raleigh's 53rd ranking).

(1) Engineers as a percent of total employment.
(2) Index based on cost of labor, energy, taxes and office space.
(3) Index based on cost of housing, utilities, transportation and other expenditures.
(4) Crimes per 100,000 residents.
(5) Index based on museums, theaters, golf course, sports teams and other activities.
(6) Share of Population over age 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher.
* 5-year annualized figures.
For Immediate Release
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