The cities capturing the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on this year’s lists are Des Moines, Iowa, and Raleigh, N.C., respectively—the same cities that landed these slots when we first published a Best Cities for Young Professionals list three years ago. Both cities are home to plenty of companies as well as a well-educated labor force: the greater Des Moines and West Des Moines metro boasts an impressive 1 large (500+ employee) company for every 612 people, and 41.7% of Raleigh’s population has at least a bachelor’s degree. Not surprisingly, these cities also top our most recent list of Best Places for Business and Careers.
Raleigh has been the recipient of many FORBES honors this year, including, the No. 2 slot on our list of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities in February. Its close proximity to the Research Triangle Park, where more than 170 companies—including IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Syngenta, Credit Suisse, and Cisco—have outposts makes it a hotbed of job opportunities. The area is a natural greenhouse for the well-educated, thanks to the presence of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in nearby Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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