6 of 100
6. Portland, Ore.
Population: 535,421
Pros: A thriving urban scene, abundant outdoor recreations
Con: High living costs

Young, educated and creative. That's the kind of workforce on offer in Portland, thanks in part to the presence of companies such as Nike and Intel, which has seven campuses in Oregon, most of them within 20 miles of Portland.

But even independently of these corporations, the city harbors a strong design and high tech industry. Environmentally minded companies will be at home in the area: Portland was ranked the most sustainable city in the U.S. in 2006 by SustainLane, a green-living research and publishing group. While Portland's business tax structure is not the friendliest - Multnomah County imposes a business income tax - the city boasts a thriving entrepreneurial and venture capitalist community, with 2,571 start-ups (almost 5 per 1,000 local residents) registered in 2007.

A mature city, Portland offers a downtown of historic neighborhoods and a vibrant restaurant community, as well as arts centers, a symphony and an opera. -Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Interactive map: Portland, Ore.
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Portland, Ore.

NEXT: 7. Denver

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on Thumbtack.com. More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
America's favorite businesses From a science camp for girls to a kombucha brewer, communities around the country voted on their favorite small businesses. These 12 came out on top, each scoring a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google's headquarters. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.