Lafayette ranked first in the country in terms of economic and workforce measures, according to Area Development Magazine, a site selection and facility planning publication.
Baton Rouge was No. 88 and New Orleans ranked No. 155, according to Area Development.
The magazine ranked 380 metro areas in 21 economic and workforce indicators in 2010-2011 and 2007-2012.
The top scores went to metro areas based on their economic strengths, year-over-year growth; growth of young, educated workers; and how they bounced back to their pre-recession economic levels, according to Geraldine Gambale, Area Development editor.
Lafayette received the No. 1 ratings for economic strength and year-over-year growth indicators.
Houma-Thibodaux was No. 24; Lake Charles, 54; Monroe, 87; Alexandria, 286; and Shreveport-Bossier City, 300.
The Top 10 metro areas nationwide also included Fargo, N.D.; Odessa, Texas; Columbus, Ind.; Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas; Midland, Texas; Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.; Framingham, Mass; and Bismarck, N.D.