College Station, Texas was recently recognized on the Forbes website as the 6th best “small place” for business and careers. Among other things, this is confirmation of a popular trend surrounding the city right now. Growth is constant, the economy is prominent, and the market for jobs and real estate matches those of many of the healthiest cities across the nation.
Forbes Magazine, internationally known as a leading source for reliable business news and financial information, is likely most famous for its lists. “Forbes 400 Richest Americans” has been referred to repeatedly in recent pop culture and is widely known as a viable measurement for individual wealth, and also success for the more potentially disillusioned. Forbes also has lists ranking the world’s billionaires and richest celebrities, top companies and CEOs, etcetera.
Despite any subjective connotations that might accompany some of Forbes more superficial rankings, the validity and authority of Forbes’ lists are indisputable. Their rankings are formed upon irrefutable statistics and research from a highly developed and paid team to deliver the real numbers to their interested American audience. They take their work seriously, and this makes their lists, well, quite accurate.
Even when a list appears on Forbes’ website ranking “Most Trustworthy Companies” or “Best Small Businesses”, you can be sure that material you’re reading is comfortingly credible. Save yourself the skepticism; go ahead and trust that the numbers on Forbes reflect reality to that measured extent.
The list that College Station popped up on was, not surprisingly for the locals who have experienced the city’s economy first hand, a list for the “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” College Station landed in the top ten, ranking sixth right behind Manhattan, Kansas and one step ahead of Morgantown, West Virginia. The number one city in the list was Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the 100th ranked city was Florence, Alabama.
The anonymity of these cities suggests something about the depth of the company’s research on the subject. College Station, luckily, has the advantage of housing the nationally recognized university that has been the seed for the city’s uncanny growth. I say uncanny because for many companies and individual investors, College Station (after breaking through that initial friction of earning their place in the traditional city) has reflected the type of long term growth that businesses likely recognize from an oddly familiar dream. The American dream of growth and prosperity, perhaps.
College Station was also listed as a city with its major industries to be Education and was acknowledged to be a ‘small place’ with a metro population of 232,000. The Gross Metro Product of the city amounted to a whopping $9.7 billion with a median household income of nearly $40,000.
The unemployment rate in College Station is correspondingly low at 5.8%, although the apparent job growth for the year of 2011 was -0.4%. This was most likely due to recent university layoffs, but is anticipated to be neutralized by the installation of TAMU’s new Bio-Security Center (which will be opening in 2015) and the completed construction of the new Scott and White Health Center off of Highway 6 and Rock Prairie Road. The cost of living in College Station is 5.4% below the national average (thank goodness), and the city, boosted by the prominent presence of their founded university, has a college attainment of 32.1%.
Real Estate is obviously an important aspect of a growing city’s economy, and with an average city home cost of just $117,400, College Station presents itself as an ideal location for families and individuals looking to start their new life or/and job. At that rate, even college students of Texas A&M University manage to rent full homes with spacious backyards at a rent rate equally affordable to competing apartment complexes.
Along with ranking sixth in Best Small Places for Business and Careers, the home of the Aggies has popped up on a few other Forbes lists. College Station managed to grab a rank in regard to the Cost of Doing Business, placing 69th in a past Forbes poll. Aggieland also ranked 7th in overall “Job Growth”, a ranking practically more prestigious than it’s higher placement among Small Places For Business and Careers. Although, with the prosperous performance and growth of the university, that ranking is well deserved and hardly a surprise.
Education is the primary industry for the city of College Station, with the university and a nationally recognized public school district. Thus their national ranking in education is equally reflective of this, placing 21st in overall city education. Considering Texas A&M University is a public institution and therefore at a severe disadvantage to those cities with privately funded Ivy League colleges, this high of a ranking is flattering and rather encouraging. It reflects on the success of the university as well as the quality of the residents who chose to work and live in Aggieland.
College Station, Texas is an amazing and prosperous town that is now starting to be nationally recognized by magazines and companies as prestigious as Forbes. But you wouldn’t need to show any graduated Aggie or long-time Aggieland resident a series of Forbes lists to prove that to them. Those articles only confirm what they already understood. And for the proud, stubborn Aggie graduate such secondary rankings, if anything else, are simple understatements of the value of their hometown.
Come join us and live in a beautiful Bryan or College Station home!
2009 Forbes report on Bryan and College Station Homes and the business climate.