It’s been our opinion for quite some time that you can’t beat the Raleigh-Durham, NC area as a place to live and launch your new business.  Thankfully, we’re not alone. Here are a few objective sources that tout the strengths of the Triangle as a leading destination for entrepreneurs and executives looking to start or relocate their companies.

A recent survey by Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Raleigh number one—that’s right, NUMBER ONE—in its Best Places to Live Rankings.  The survey used quality of life metrics like school performance, amount of green spaces, and cultural amenities—all key factors in attracting top talent for young businesses.

When you couple these factors with a host of thriving industry sectors, including technology and life sciences, Raleigh stacks up as a formidable competitor to the bigger cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco.

A 2008 Kiplinger’s survey of the Best Cities to Live, Work, and Play echoes these points.  The magazine rated American cities based on strength of the economy, abundance of jobs, and an “abundance of fun things to do.” Raleigh came in at number two on the list, much to the initial shock of the folks at Kiplinger’s—we are not surprised at all.

And Durham, long seen as Raleigh’s little brother in the area, has really come of age in recent years, attracting venture capital interest with its thriving creative class. Evidence of this emergence has seen validation in CNN Money’s 2008 rankings of the Top 100 Places to Live and Launch, where Durham comes in at a robust number 12.

We have seen a cohesive effort from groups like the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Durham, Inc., and the Research Triangle Foundation in luring entrepreneurs to chase their dreams here.

A 2010 survey of by Bloomberg Businessweek is perhaps an even more compelling selling point for Durham as an entrepreneurial destination.  In their Best Cities for Riding Out a Recession, the magazine cited Durham’s diversity of industries, with strong showings in the healthcare, education, professional, scientific, and technology sectors.

These two great cities have a lot in common, benefiting from their three Fountains of Youth—the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University.  All of these top institutions generate a steady flow of talented professionals who will continue to broaden the industry sector dominance that this region has bootstrapped itself upon for the last four decades.