The Triangle is the third-best metropolitan area for business, according to rankings compiled by

The study took into account higher education opportunities, economic and population growth, income and employment rates in ranking metro areas nationwide.

While income dropped in the Triangle during the study period, the area retains a high median household income ($54,076) and low cost of living.

Forbes found the “cost of doing business,” an index based on cost of labor, energy, taxes and office space, in Raleigh to be among the lowest in the nation. In March, Forbes named Raleigh “America’s Most Wired City.”