June 3, 2023

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This list of ‘top states for business’ in the U.S. may surprise you


How does your state rank?

According to a statistical analysis by CNBC named “America’s Top States for Business 2022,” North Carolina, Washington and Virginia are among the best states in the country for business.

The analysis is not an opinion survey, but a data-driven report that measures states on 88 metrics including workforce, infrastructure, economy, cost of doing business and several others. Each state can earn a maximum of 2,500 points across all categories and then are ranked based on total points.

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Additionally, some categories are weighted higher than others. For example, “workforce” and “infrastructure” are weighted more heavily than “access to capital” and “cost of living.”

Categories are measured in a variety of ways, the report says. Cost of living, for example, measures an index of costs for basic items, and access to capital is measured by state-backed capital and loan guarantee programs.

Here are the full rankings:

  1. North Carolina

  2. Washington

  3. Virginia

  4. Colorado

  5. Texas

  6. Tennessee

  7. Nebraska

  8. Utah

  9. Minnesota

  10. Georgia

  11. Florida

  12. Iowa

  13. North Dakota

  14. Indiana

  15. Ohio

  16. Michigan

  17. Pennsylvania

  18. Oregon

  19. Illinois

  20. Idaho

  21. Kansas

  22. South Dakota

  23. Wisconsin

  24. Massachusetts

  25. Missouri

  26. Kentucky

  27. Maryland

  28. Delaware

  29. California

  30. Montana

  31. Vermont

  32. Wyoming

  33. Alabama

  34. Arizona

  35. New Hampshire

  36. New York

  37. South Carolina

  38. Oklahoma

  39. Connecticut

  40. Nevada

  41. Arkansas

  42. New Jersey

  43. Maine

  44. West Virginia

  45. Rhode Island

  46. Hawaii

  47. New Mexico

  48. Louisiana

  49. Alaska

  50. Mississippi

Only one of the states in the top five (Texas) is also among the top five in total growth domestic product (GDP), according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Some of the biggest states in the country, like California, New York and Florida, are featured much lower in these business rankings.

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“Talking to CEO after CEO, workforce is the driving force for them right now,” North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper told CNBC. “They see North Carolina as a place where they can rely on our community colleges, our greatest array of public and private universities in the country to make sure they have the workforce they need.”

The report comes as the U.S. economy is dealing with surging inflation. According to June CPI data, inflation climbed to a 41-year high of 9.1% year-over-year.

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President Biden has called the high inflation reading “unacceptably high,” and Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, said the Federal Reserve will likely have “zero patience” for such high inflation numbers, possibly signaling a benchmark interest rate increase in July or September.


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