Montana State University

Business journal says MSU a factor in ultimate dream town

August 14, 2006 -- By Carol Schmidt, MSU News Service

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Montana State University was a key reason that Bozeman was selected the No. 1 dream town in the country, according to a recent ranking by Bizjournals publications.

"This Rocky Mountain community is the ultimate dream town," said the Bizjournal article about where to find the best quality of life in the country. "It has a highly educated workforce -- thanks to the presence of Montana State University -- and it offers plenty of places to work. The number of small businesses has zoomed up by 27.7 percent in just five years."

Bizjournals, which publishes print business journals for 41 American cities, compared the performances of 577 areas in 12 categories.

Following Bozeman and Jackson Hole in the ranking were Durango, Colo., Easton, Md., Laramie, Wyo., Edwards, Colo., Kill Devil Hills, N.C., Pierre, S.D., Silverthorne, Colo., and Los Alamos, N.M.

A complete ranking can be found at:

The top 10 were designated as "dream towns," and all are featured on a slideshow on the Bizjournal Web site.

The journal said that Bozeman tops the list because of its strong showings in several categories, including:

Its number of small businesses grew by almost 28 percent during the past five years, topping all but two of the 577 communities in the study group.

Bozeman's population increased by 15.3 percent in half a decade, ranking 11th in micropolitan America.

The local share of adults with bachelor's degrees, 41 percent, is sixth among all of the nation's small communities.

Bozeman's total "quality of life score" was 12.6478, almost .2 higher than runner-up Jackson Hole, Wyo. Bozeman's population was listed at 78,210, its per capita income was given at $30,560 and the community supports 3,939 small businesses, according to the survey.

Bizjournals is the new media division of American City Business Journals, the nation's largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers. It operates Web sites for each of the company's 41 print business journals.