Gainesville Ranked 5th Best Small Metro in the Nation

3, December 2013

In it's annual College Destination Index, The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) has ranked Gainesville the 5th best small metro in the nation. According to AIER, the college experience is about more than attending a top-tier university. Of equal importance, says AIER, is where the school is located - the people students will meet, the places they go, and the jobs that they will hold in that location.

Gainesville ranked among the top in the country in research capacity, entrepreneurial activity, and creative class workforce to propel it into 5th place. The city's low unemployement rate and high student concentration and diversity also played a factor. A sign of a local sustainability movement, Gainesville was ranked 7th in city accessibility, which takes into account how much of the population commute via public transportation, bike, or walking.

With Innovation Square in full motion, office space near UF and downtown Gainesville are having an unprecedented effect on the community. New companies relocating to the area are lowering the umemployement rate while attracting research funding and outside investment to the area. Companies moving into Innovation Square office space are seeking to hire the local workforce, increasing the demand for talented UF graduates and Gainesville's service companies. Existing commercial properties are being renovated in the science and tech community to house these young, high-tech companies.

Just today, the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce opened the International Trade Office, which will allow local companies to consult with professionals free of charge regarding exporting their products abroad.

It should be noted that Tallahassee was also among the nations best small metros, ranking 17th.

AIER's analysis of Gainesville's active, well-rounded community is a bright indicator of where the city is headed. Also ranked by Livability as the #1 college town in the country only a few months ago, Gainesville is only just getting started.

To view the study, go to