America's Top States For Business 2013

#13 Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee
Malcolm MacGregor | Flickr | Getty Images
Nashville, Tennessee
2013 Rank
2012 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 289 14 27
Workforce 220 5 11
Quality of Life 74 49 48
Infrastructure & Transportation 233 2 4
Economy 263 9 12
Education 54 45 41
Technology & Innovation 150 25 25
Business Friendliness 132 18 6
Cost of Living 49 2 2
Access to Capital 12 27 29
Overall 1476 13 16


Governor: Bill Haslam (R)

Population: 6,456,243

GDP growth: 3.3 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2013): 8.3 percent

Top corporate rate: 6.5 percent

Top individual tax rate: 6.0 percent

Gasoline tax: 21.4 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aaa/Stable

Major private employers: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Eastman Chemical Co., Nissan North America Inc., GM Spring Hill Plant, M. Modal Inc., Carlisle Companies, Gaylord Opryland Resort, St. Thomas Hospital, University of Tennessee, Covenant Transportation Group

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)

From the Governors


  • South Dakota, More Than Just Gorgeous Views

    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.

  • Ranking America's Workforces

    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.

  • Why South Dakota is Top State for Business

    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.