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America's Top States For Business 2012

Overall Rankings 2012

We scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric. Then, we separated those metrics into ten broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

Overall Ranking

Overall State Cost of Business Workforce Quality of Life Economy Infrastructure & Transp. Technology & Innovation Education Business Friendliness Access to Capital Cost of Living
1 Texas 28 7 35 5 1 2 26 12 8 3
2 Utah 11 9 10 7 8 24 45 10 13 6
3 Virginia 32 8 16 10 33 14 13 3 9 20
4 North Carolina 21 3 26 31 11 9 13 8 18 21
5 North Dakota 16 10 5 2 15 47 19 4 43 28
6 Nebraska 13 19 13 9 19 34 18 6 32 11
7 South Dakota 3 14 7 12 27 46 22 1 48 30
8 Colorado 40 5 8 33 23 8 27 8 4 33
9 Georgia 14 1 36 30 3 17 34 15 20 16
10 Wyoming 10 20 9 1 26 48 11 20 35 27
11 Minnesota 25 31 5 16 2 18 11 23 15 35
12 Iowa 5 37 19 3 31 28 30 10 28 19
13 Idaho 7 5 22 23 23 38 48 12 32 9
14 Indiana 16 26 40 11 18 23 25 5 37 7
15 Kansas 35 18 24 14 6 30 21 16 25 10
16 Tennessee 27 11 48 12 4 25 41 6 29 2
17 Wisconsin 15 43 14 34 6 20 10 27 27 23
18 Oregon 23 34 17 37 16 15 40 17 13 38
19 New Hampshire 35 44 1 34 46 26 8 2 19 40
20 Arkansas 2 11 43 20 31 41 28 32 40 5
21 Washington 37 21 15 45 36 5 13 36 3 36
22 Arizona 34 2 32 44 9 21 49 14 22 34
23 Oklahoma 4 21 37 17 37 32 37 22 35 1
24 Montana 7 47 18 18 14 39 16 41 42 31
25 Ohio 6 49 44 31 10 16 23 37 17 15
26 Illinois 26 32 31 45 16 4 17 46 11 18
27 Missouri 12 38 37 29 20 21 20 25 37 14
28 Massachusetts 49 32 11 21 45 7 3 29 1 41
29 Florida 39 3 30 47 11 11 42 27 24 25
30 Pennsylvania 41 48 33 26 35 5 7 30 6 32
31 Maryland 42 24 29 24 43 10 9 24 7 43
32 South Carolina 22 15 41 25 21 26 46 35 30 24
33 Michigan 29 38 34 28 25 12 38 34 21 12
34 New York 47 41 28 22 39 1 1 50 5 47
35 Maine 19 45 4 42 42 35 6 21 46 39
36 (tie) New Mexico 31 25 24 15 13 32 46 47 26 29
36 (tie) Kentucky 1 29 45 38 22 31 35 41 45 4
38 Alabama 20 26 47 6 29 35 43 30 41 13
39 Vermont 38 41 3 27 48 43 4 25 23 42
40 California 48 23 20 43 30 3 33 43 1 46
41 New Jersey 43 28 20 39 41 13 4 48 11 45
42 Louisiana 9 16 50 36 40 28 35 40 43 17
43 Delaware 32 36 49 19 27 40 31 19 30 37
44 Connecticut 46 40 12 40 43 18 2 33 15 48
45 Nevada 30 13 46 50 5 44 50 18 34 22
46 Mississippi 18 17 41 48 34 42 44 44 48 8
47 Alaska 44 30 26 4 37 50 32 39 48 49
48 West Virginia 24 50 39 7 47 49 29 44 46 26
49 Hawaii 50 35 2 41 49 45 39 37 39 50
50 Rhode Island 45 46 23 49 50 37 23 49 10 44

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