Forbes has released its 20th annual ranking for the “best places for business and careers” in America. For the third straight year, Raleigh remains in the second position, only behind Seattle. Forbes ranks the potential cities by measuring factors such as business and living costs, income growth, projected economic growth, migration, and cultural and recreational opportunities, among others. Seattle was ranked number one and Portland, Oregon was ranked number three. Among those cities at the bottom of the list were Atlantic City, New Jersey, Huntington, West Virginia, Bakersfield, California, and Flint, Michigan.

North Carolina had a total of four cities ranking in the top 25 with Charlotte finishing in the fifth position, Durham finishing thirteenth, and Asheville finishing in the fifteenth. In recent years, the North Carolina General Assembly has created a favorable tax environment which cannot be overlooked as a major contributing factor to North Carolina’s success in attracting businesses and residents into the state. North Carolina also ranks highly on many other national measures concerning wage growth, small business growth, economic freedom.