Amazon received 238 total proposals from cities vying to be the site of the e-commerce behemoth's second world headquarters — or HQ2 — for which a company search was announced in early September. Amazon expects to invest more than $5 billion into HQ2, which will eventually house up to 50,000 employees.
Since then, speculation has run rampant about which city best fits Amazon's criteria for HQ2, which include a metropolitan population with at least 1 million people, strong access to technical talent and a business-friendly environment. Many cities that submitted proposals included elaborate enticements, from the seemingly odd to the financially lucrative.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis of what it considers to be the top 12 cities with the best chance to land HQ2. Each was ranked by six factors based on Amazon's proposal criteria: Tech labor force, fiscal health, cost of living, college population, culture fit and state tax rank.
Scoring cities on those factors, Dallas and Boston led WSJ's top dozen cities, followed by a three-way tie between Washington D.C., Atlanta and Amazon's current headquarters site of Seattle.
The WSJ's top 12 cities for HQ2 are:
1. Dallas, TX
2. Boston, MA
T3. Washington D.C.
T3. Atlanta, GA
T3. Seattle, WA
4. Chicago, IL
5. Denver, CO
T6. New York City, NY
T6. Nashville, TN
7. Austin, TX
8. Minneapolis, MN
9. Newark, NJ
Amazon has not published a list of semi-finalists or an intention to do so before it makes its HQ2 selection.