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STUDY: Tech Growth Makes Silicon Valley Top Metro Area in U.S.

The Milken Institute says Santa Clara County is the best in the country in local economy, health and entrepreneurship.

Silicon Valley is the best-performing metropolitan area in the country, a new study has found. 

According to the Milken Institute, the local economy, health and entrepreneurship place the county in similar company with Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina, which ranked second and third, respectively. 

The annual study shows significant improvement in Santa Clara County, which was ranked 51st in 2011. The Milken Institute says the reason is that "tech is back." The Silicon Valley had only been at the top one other time in history — in 2001, during the first tech bubble. 

Local one-year job growth is the area's strongest attribute, while salary growth since 2005 is also impressive. 

Play with the interactive database here to see other cities

The Milken Institute says their economists and policy experts "focus on three major imperatives: creating jobs; improving health; and ensuring that capital is available to launch entrepreneurs, new technologies and great ideas." 

Of course, Silicon Valley is a generic term that encompasses areas of great wealth as well as significant poverty. So, we ask, what should be done to improve the Silicon Valley region? 

2012 Rank 2011 Rank Job Growth Rank 2006-2011 Job Growth Rank 2010-2011 Salaries Growth Rank 2005-2010 1 51 61 10 26

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