Personal finance site NerdWallet looked at 463 U.S. cities with populations of 50,000 to 100,000 people to determine where the best business opportunities are.

Out of these 463 cities, the Michigan city of Troy, a suburb of Detroit in Oakland County, came in fourth in the nation.

The site says that of the keys to Troy’s placement in the list is Automation Alley, a business accelerator and association of tech companies. Automation Alley aims to diversify the city’s economy and move it away from its dependence on automotive manufacturing.

“We have seen that communities that are geographically close to larger cities do well in many of our studies—on both the state level and national level,” said Nerdwallet’s economics writer Jonathan Todd.

The site used methodology that looked at the business climate (65%) and local economic health (35%).

Another reason for Troy’s high rank is its relatively low cost of living, compared to income. The median annual income in the city is $72,333 (just a couple thousand dollars more than the amount , which is pretty solid on the scale. Housing costs amount to $1,366 a month on average, so breaking down the data, people spend just under a quarter of their paycheck for housing there.

Troy has the second lowest housing to income proportion of the 10 cities on the list. That’s not bad at all. Also, the unemployment rate in the city is 5.5%, which is equal to the current national rate (5.5%).

For comparison, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the city of Detroit’s unemployment rate is 24.8%, as of 2010, or about 4.5x that of Troy.

Looking deeper down the list, other Detroit suburbs appear. In the number 21 spot, Southfield; 29, Livonia; 40, Farmington Hills; and 57, Novi within the top 100.

The top of the list? Alpharetta, Georgia. The rest of the top 10 are below.


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