39. Kentucky

The Bluegrass State offers America’s lowest cost of living, but largely a result of a state economy that has suffered badly from the decline of the coal industry.

Category
Score
2014 Rank
2013 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 302 14 17
Workforce 139 29 31
Quality of Life 94 42 38
Infrastructure & Transportation 185 29 (Tie) 14
Economy 159 46 42
Education 63 35 43
Technology & Innovation 97 37 (Tie) 31
Business Friendliness 64 36 37
Cost of Living 50 1 3
Access to Capital 2 47 (Tie) 39
Overall 1155 39 36

Economic Profile

Governor: Steve Beshear, Democrat

Population: 4,395,295

GDP growth: 1.6 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2014): 7.7 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 6 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 6 percent

Gasoline tax: 49 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aa2/negative

Major private employer: Humana Inc.

Economic profile sources: Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody's Investor Service, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky FY 2013 CAFR

  • CNBC's senior correspondent and lead investigative reporter, Scott Cohn also appears on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Today" and on MSNBC.

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