32. California

The Golden State sets the gold standard for innovation and access to capital, and its economy is turning around. But “golden” could also describe the state’s costs of living and doing business.

Category
Score
2014 Rank
2013 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 50 48 50
Workforce 129 36 34
Quality of Life 160 23 27
Infrastructure & Transportation 194 24 34
Economy 276 9 35
Education 75 26 43
Technology & Innovation 289 1 2
Business Friendliness 44 48 48
Cost of Living 4 47 45
Access to Capital 25 1 (Tie) 1
Overall 1246 32 47

Economic Profile

Governor: Jerry Brown, Democrat

Population: 38,332,521

GDP growth: 2.0 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2014): 7.8 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 8.84 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 12.30 percent

Gasoline tax: 71 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: A1/stable

Major private employer: NA

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

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

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