The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness found Monterrey had all the qualities to attract business and residents, but also noted the city's homicide rate had tripled, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Monterrey was the only Mexican city the study ranked in the top category of "highly competitive."
Figuring in IMCO's evaluation were the city's high per capita GDP of nearly $20,000 and its second-highest rate of foreign investment. Other factors included educational levels, infrastructure and services, innovations, labor relations and government efficiency.
The report's author, IMCO urban development studies director Gabriela Alarcon, admitted that violence had impacted the security of the city, but added it was "outweighed by Monterrey's strengths in economic ... [and] social aspects."
The study ranked 77 of Mexico's largest cities. Together they comprise 80 percent of domestic economic production and 63 percent of the country's population.
The resort town of Acapulco was ranked at the bottom.