America's Top States For Business 2013

#1 South Dakota

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
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Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
2013 Rank
2012 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 394 1 3
Workforce 195 11 14
Quality of Life 224 7 7
Infrastructure & Transportation 203 19 27
Economy 273 6 12
Education 73 30 22
Technology & Innovation 70 48 46
Business Friendliness 176 2 1
Cost of Living 25 26 30
Access to Capital 6 39 48
Overall 1639 1 7


Governor: Dennis Daugaard (R)

Population: 833,354

GDP growth: 0.2 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2013): 4.0 percent

Top corporate rate: None

Top individual tax rate: None

Gasoline tax: 22 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: No general obligation debt, but would be rated Aa2/Stable

Major private employers: IBP Hog Market Inc., Rapid City Regional Hospital, Sanford USD Medical Center, Citibank South Dakota NA, John Morrell & Co., Regional Health Physicians Inc., Avera, Larson Manufacturing Co., Tyson Fresh Meats, Walmart Supercenter

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.