Our countdown of the top metro areas ranked by the number of area Inc. 5000 companies begins in Texas. Though Houston has long been a hub of the energy industry, the area's top-ranking business, TechRadium (No. 38), is a government contractor that offers emergency alert and mass communication services.
The Philadelphia area puts Pennsylvania on the map for the first time in years. Though it's typically thought of as a manufacturing center, this year, the document management software company NextDocs, leads the region in growth at No. 52.
San Francisco surprises two years in a row. Despite being a renowned center for tech innovation, the Bay Area's top-ranking company this year is ad agency WDFA Marketing (No. 5). Last year's wild card was online equipment company Perfect Fitness.
The Dallas area makes a strong showing in the energy industry this year. It's home to our No. 1 company, Ambit Energy, which sells energy services throughout Texas, New York, and Illinois. The Dallas metro area this year pulled ahead of Houston after tying for ninth place last year.
Atlanta's reputation for being a hub for business services is underscored by companies such as Vendormate (No. 25), a company that helps corporate clients manage vendor relationships.
With so many esteemed colleges and universities in the area, Boston has made a name for itself as a center for innovative research and venture capital. This year, Carbonite, an online data backup service, is the area's top company at No. 9, followed by Gazelle (No. 24), a green business that allows users to sell or recycle their gadgets online.
Chicago's many high-value service businesses, including finance, medicine and logistics, are still going strong. Lake Forest's Coyote Logistics tops the area's list at No. 6.
The fastest-growing company this year based in the Los Angeles area is Lead Research Group, a Huntington Beach marketing firm that ranks No. 23.
The nation's capital is still fairing well, thanks to the area's strength in government contracting. For example, the region's top-ranking company is NetWitness (No. 21), a security software and hardware company based in Herndon, Virginia, that includes government agencies among its clients.
New York City pulls out a first-place finish this year thanks to the growth of a slew of high-ranking media and advertising companies. Digital Advertising in the New Jersey suburb of Metuchen led the way for the region, ranked at No. 14.