America's Top States For Business 2013

#3 North Dakota

Fargo, North Dakota
Richard Cummins | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images
Fargo, North Dakota
2013 Rank
2012 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 300 12 16
Workforce 199 8 10
Quality of Life 226 5 5
Infrastructure & Transportation 233 2 15
Economy 298 2 2
Education 64 36 19
Technology & Innovation 79 46 47
Business Friendliness 161 6 4
Cost of Living 21 30 28
Access to Capital 11 29 43
Overall 1592 3 5


Governor: Jack Dalrymple (R)

Population: 699,628

GDP growth: 13.4 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2013): 3.2 percent

Top corporate rate: 5.15 percent

Top individual tax rate: 3.99 percent

Gasoline tax: 23 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aa1/Stable

Major private employers: North Dakota State University, Altru Health System, Sanford Health, St. Alexius Medical Center, Trinity Health, US Bank, Bobcat Co., Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Dakota, Noridian Mutual Insurance Co., LM Wind Power

Economic profile sources: American Petroleum Institute (April 2013), Bureau of Economic Analysis (2012), Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2013 release), CareerOneStop, Moody's Investors Service (senior-most tax-backed ratings), National Governors Association, Tax Foundation (2013), U.S. Census Bureau (2012 estimate)

Top States For Business 2013

From the Governors


  • South Dakota is the winner of the annual "America's Top States for Business" study. CNBC's Scott Cohn reports on the state's economy and its stunning views.

  • CNBC's Scott Cohn reveals how other states fared when it came to their workforce, including a look at education level, retraining programs and union membership.

  • The cost of doing business was one of the key reasons the Mount Rushmore State captured the top ranking as the best state for business, reports CNBC's Scott Cohn.