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Morgantown Nationally Ranked as a Top 10 College Town

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The American Institute for Economic Research has recognized Morgantown as a Top 10 college town.

Morgantown ranks number nine this year, up from number 18 last year, according to a press release from WVU.

It said the town ranked first in entrepreneurial activity (net increase in total number of businesses per 100,000 population) and brain gain or drain (year-over-year ratio of population with bachelor's degrees living in the area), second in cost of living (average 2-bedroom rent) and third among arts and leisure (establishments per 100,000 population in arts, entertainment and recreation). It ranked in the top 10 in all 12 categories. 

"This top 10 ranking shows what a strong relationship the city and WVU have," said Morgantown Mayor Jim Manilla, as stated in the press release. "We work well together and will continue to do so with our new International Town and Gown Association partnership."

The AIER said that Morgantown did well this year because of its stability. It wasn't affected as much as some other college towns by the Great Recession.

The press release said a total of 12 factors are evaluated using the most current data available from the Census Bureau and others to provide a snapshot of each community's overall academic and cultural environment, quality of life and employment opportunities in the area.

For these rankings, a college town was considered a metropolitan statistical area with more than 15,000 college students.