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Quite a few D.C. area suburbs made Forbes’ “Top 25 Towns to Live Well.” The rankings were compiled by ZoomProspector.com, a San Fran-based firm which specializes in business relocation. The group examined “the number of museums, parks, bars and restaurants, and cultural institutions per capita” as well as “factors indicative of a favorable business environment. These include patents, venture capital funding, sole-proprietorships, start-ups and small businesses per capita.” Here are the local favorites:

  • (23) Potomac: “Potomac’s got a highly educated, albeit older, workforce: 67% of those in the labor pool qualify as white collar, professional workers based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics definitions. This places them in the top 10 by that measure.”
  • (20) Silver Spring: “BLS-defined highly skilled workers with backgrounds in technology, mathematics or engineering make up 23% of the labor force, and they often filter through well performing start-ups, which garnish $2,712 venture capital dollars per capita, one of the highest rates on our list.”
  • (17) Germantown: “Germantown performs very well in our venture capital ranking, hauling in $2,110 per person.”

  • (13) North Potomac: “North Potomac differs from Potomac because it has a slightly higher share of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher and of BLS-defined highly skilled workers, which represent 70% of the labor pool.”
  • (8) Rockville: “Its per capita venture capital investment of $3,130 is the highest of any town outside California.” 
  • (7) Columbia: “Quality of life factors like schools, access to music venues and restaurants all work in Columbia’s favor.” 
  • (3) Fairfax: “A great place for entrepreneurs, Fairfax has the second highest number of sole-proprietors of any place measured on our list and as a result, its start-ups per capita ranks first.”