New Orleans and Lafayette rank among America’s top cities of the future, according to a new study published by Foreign Direct Investment magazine. The 2013-14 American Cities of the Future report ranks the two Louisiana cities among the best of their size for attracting overseas investment, the state’s economic development department noted in a news release.

New Orleans ranked No. 6 overall in the Top 10 Mid-Sized American Cities of the Future list and No. 4 in economic potential for Top 10 Mid-Sized American Cities. Only Virginia Beach, Va., ranked higher among U.S. cities at No. 5, with Canadian cities claiming the top four spots.

Lafayette ranked No. 7 overall among Top 10 Small American Cities of the Future and No. 1 among small American cities in the category of fDi Strategy, a ranking based on a city’s current strategy for foreign direct investment promotion. The magazine’s editors lauded Lafayette’s “Innovation with an accent” branding as a key part of that strategy.

In compiling its rankings, the magazine compared the economic, business and financial strengths of cities across both North and South America. Also, fDi highlighted cities of varying sizes with the best forecasts for inward investment, economic development and business expansion.

The results were determined from data collected for 422 cities. The cities were evaluated on 100 criteria.

fDi magazine reports on crossborder investment.