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South Dakota is America's Top State for Business, According to CNBC Exclusive Study

Tuesday, 9 Jul 2013 | 4:46 PM ET

CNBC's Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn Revealed America's Top Five States for Business Today on CNBC & CNBC.com

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS,N.J., July 9, 2013—CNBC,First in Business Worldwide, today unveiled the results of its seventh annual list of America's Top States for Business with South Dakota beating out the former front runner, Texas. South Dakota scored 1,639 out of 2,500 points, the highest of any state since CNBC started this study in 2007.

CNBC Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn reported today live from the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and counted down the top five states throughout CNBC's Business Day programming and on CNBC.com. Coverage of America's Top States for Business will continue on-air and online through Wednesday, July 10th.

"South Dakota has always been a solid performer in our study, but with businesses focusing more than ever on low costs, the state really shines," Cohn said. "We found it has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country as well as low wage and utility costs. The regulatory climate is one of the friendliest to business anywhere, and the biggest issue in South Dakota's booming economy is that low unemployment means fewer available workers."

CNBC.com has an in-depth look at how South Dakota claimed the top spot including a complete economic snapshot (employment, budget, tax and housing data). The rankings for all 50 states are available on the site, topstates.cnbc.com. In addition, the site also has exclusive stories and slideshows drilling down into the various top-ranking categories including Technology, Quality of Life and Most Improved States.

Follow us on Twitter @CNBC and take part in the social conversation surrounding CNBC's top states coverage using hashtag #TopStates.

To determine the rankings for America's Top States for Business, each state was scored—using publicly available data—on 55 different measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including The National Associationof Manufacturers and The Council on Competitiveness as well as the states themselves. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into ten broad categories. The categories are weighted based on how frequently they are cited as selling points in state economic development marketing materials. That way, CNBC grades the states on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

America's Top 5 States for Business:

1. South Dakota (Highest Rank - #1 in Cost of Doing Business; Lowest Rank - #48 in Technology & Innovation)

2. Texas (Highest Rank -#1 in Economy and Infrastructure; Lowest Rank - #41 in Quality of Life)

3. North Dakota (Highest Rank - #2 in Economy and Infrastructure; Lowest Rank - #46 in Technology & Innovation)

4. Nebraska (Highest Rank- #3 in Business Friendliness; Lowest Rank - #39 in Access to Capital)

5. TIE - Utah (Highest Rank- #4 in Business Friendliness; Lowest Rank - #39 in Education)

5. TIE - Virginia (Highest Rank - #6 in Workforce and Business Friendliness; Lowest Rank - #38 in Cost of Doing Business)


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