Cities Outlook 2016 puts Northampton in second place for business start-ups, second only to London, and with the highest margin between start-ups and closures during 2013-14.
In the same period, Northampton had the highest average increase in the number of businesses, at 9.9%, with closest rival Milton Keynes at 6.2%.
Northampton also had the UK’s second highest rate of employment at 78.6%. Only Aldershot performed better at 83.4%.
Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “We have known for some time that Northampton is an incubator for entrepreneurial spirit.
“For the past few years, Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone has made great strides in providing quality employment, and continues to do so.
“The Northampton Alive regeneration programme has brought about rapid change and a wealth of opportunity for those with the drive and ambition to seize it.
“And the University of Northampton has become a champion of social innovation, recognised in its status as the only Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in the UK.
“This report demonstrates that everyone’s hard work is paying off.”
Northampton is also in the top ten for population growth, with an average annual 1.2% increase over ten years to 2014.
Housing stock has kept pace, with an increase of 0.8% in 2013-14, also placing Northampton in the top ten.
And Northampton has climbed into the top ten cities for broadband connectivity, with 83.4% of postcodes achieving superfast speeds – 20% above the national average.