Forbes: Twin Cities crack top 20 for biz and careers

But rejoice not: Cities in the Dakotas and Wisconsin rate higher has compiled an exhaustive list of the best metro areas for businesses or careers. The math that goes into it--cost of living, cost of doing business, income growth--is predictably corporate-minded, but offers an interesting glimspe of the twin towns anyway. For the 3.1 million of us living in the 18th-ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it might come as no surprise that we're 14th in "educational attainment" or 15th in "culture and leisure," but that we rate only 111th--that housing bubble again?--in "cost of living."

What's more surprising is that we're not necessarily the Star of the North anymore. One could argue that distinction might still reside in the state, however, with good old Rochester coming in at number 2 among "best smaller metros." But first-ranked Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Fargo and even the dreaded Bismarck make that particularly depressing top ten.

(Click here to see where Duluth and St. Cloud rank; and here to see which Minnesotans make the Forbes rich list.)

More insult to injury? The cheeseheads in Madison really can claim some bragging rights, coming in 10th overall. More than that, lowly and sad Des Moines isn't far behind at 28.

So perhaps we're not so exceptional after all. But yet things could be worse. The only solace we can take here in the land of the loons is a not-very-startling revelation: To live and work in Milwaukee, coming in at 86, sucks big donkey balls.

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