30. Arkansas (Tie)

The Natural State is one of the least expensive states for business and for overall cost of living. But the state ranks near the bottom for education and innovation.

Category
Score
2014 Rank
2013 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 364 2 4
Workforce 168 19 7
Quality of Life 95 41 40
Infrastructure & Transportation 159 35 34
Economy 228 25 18
Education 60 37 15
Technology & Innovation 76 44 38
Business Friendliness 56 45 (Tie) 43
Cost of Living 49 2 7
Access to Capital 6 39 (Tie) 37
Overall 1261 30 (Tie) 24

Economic Profile

Governor: Mike Beebe, Democrat

Population: 2,959,373

GDP growth: 2.4 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2014): 6.6 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 6.5 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 7 percent

Gasoline tax: 40 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aa1/stable

Major private employer: Wal-Mart

Economic profile sources: Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody's Investor Service, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, ArkansasBusiness.com

  • Scott Cohn develops in-depth features, special reports and documentaries for CNBC and CNBC.com.

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