Baton Rouge has the right idea, economically speaking, according to a new ranking of metropolitan areas poised for growth.

The Louisiana capital leads the list of top metro areas for economic growth potential, according to Business Facilities magazine, which describes itself as “specializing in the site selection marketplace.” A new, 800-job IBM technology center downtown and related investments in technology education at Louisiana State University have the city poised to reap the benefits of a burgeoning software sector, the magazine found.

As Baton Rouge leads the list, the South dominates the top five. The Mobile, Ala., metro area was ranked second, followed by McAllen, Tex.; Hunstville, Ala.; and Provo-Orem, Utah. The South’s metro areas fared well in a number of the magazine’s other rankings, too, including job growth leadership and leadership of the employment recovery.

Southern states were also well represented in the survey. All but two of the 10 states with the best business climates — third-ranked Utah and sixth-ranked Indiana — are in the South. North Dakota leads the list of states with the top economic growth potential, thanks to its lucrative oil boom, followed by Louisiana, Texas, Utah and Georgia.

Check out the detailed state and city rankings.

Business Facilities 'Top 10' Charts
(Credit: Business Facilities magazine)