Study predicts Amazon will pick Atlanta for its HQ2

Amazon will pick Atlanta for its second home, or at least that is what the data shows, according to TechCrunch.

Sperling BestPlaces, a demographic and place data firm, ranked Amazon's top 20 picks for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. Amazon's $5 billion investment in one North American city has local officials scrambling to make the cut — the e-commerce giant said HQ2 would bring 50,000 jobs averaging more than $100,000 to the winning market over the next 10 to 15 years.

To compile its list, the team at Sperling collected 18 of the most reputable lists and rankings of potential Amazon HQ2 locations. The team used those rankings to create one super-study that tallied how each location performed. From that, the team assigned a score for each place.

Sperling accurately predicted 15 of the 20 cities on Amazon's short list, which was carved out of 238 proposals and released last week. Now, the firm ranked those 20 cities by the likelihood Amazon will select them.

Here is Sperling's ranking.

1. Atlanta

2. Northern Virginia, Va.

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Montgomery County, Md.

5. Boston

6. Newark, N.J.

7. New York

8. Philadelphia

9. Chicago

10. Denver

11. Austin, Texas

12. Dallas

13. Pittsburgh

14. Raleigh

15. Toronto, Canada

16. Nashville, Tenn.

17. Miami

18. Los Angeles

19. Indianapolis

20. Columbus, Ohio

The company opted for Atlanta because it is close enough to major cities like Washington, D.C., Boston and New York but has more space and is more affordable. However, the firm thinks any city in the D.C. and New York areas has a good shot.

"The Washington, D.C., and New York metro areas took a big jump in our prediction," Sperling CEO Bert Sperling told TechCrunch of the firm's new rankings. "Amazon is giving us a big clue that there are really serious about these places. Three of their top 20 are in the Washington, D.C. area (D.C., plus suburban Virginia and Maryland), and Newark, [N.J.,] is part of the New York City metro area. Together that's 25 percent of their picks."

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