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8. Columbia, MO

Columbia is the home of the University of Missouri, Columbia College and Stevens College. With all that higher learning going on, it’s not surprising that the city has earned the nickname “Collegetown, U.S.A.”

Apart from education, the economy of Columbia is based in medicine and in the insurance industry. Its 6.6 percent job growth rate was the same as Portsmouth’s.

Adam Procter | Flickr