8. Washington

The Evergreen State climbs to the top for technology and innovation. But roads are poor, and the cost of living here is high.

Category
Score
2015 Rank
2014 Rank
Workforce 216 27 (Tie) 24
Cost of Doing Business 185 28 34
Infrastructure 160 33 (Tie) 17
Economy 228 11 (Tie) 2
Quality of Life 240 7 6
Technology & Innovation 213 1 4
Education 117 18 (Tie) 25
Business Friendliness 70 24 (Tie) 23
Cost of Living 23 36 38
Access to Capital 41 10 9
Overall 1493 8 7

Economic Profile

Governor: Jay Inslee, Democrat

Population: 7,061,530

GDP growth: 3.0 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2015): 5.4 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 0 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 0 percent

Gasoline tax: 55 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aa1/stable

Major private employer: Costco Wholesale

Economic profile sources: Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody's Investor Service, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington FY 2014 CAFR

FULL LIST: 2015 TOP STATES FOR BUSINESS

Latest Special Reports

  • Financial Portfolio

    A look at how leading portfolio managers and institutional investors build investment plans to meet clients’ goals.

  • The CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows bright spots in the economy, with housing and stocks in the forefront.

  • Watch investments

    Covering the full set of tools and strategies for long-term investors: How to take everyday market fluctuations in stride, and when to know it’s time to take action or protect against a major economic shifts.