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The Secret Recipe for Our Top States Rankings

A lot of you have written in about our Top States for Businessrankings. Thank you, we love to hear from you and are glad you enjoy the feature.

Some of you wrote in with some questions about how we do the rankings. Those questions want us to get into specifics about the data behind the 10 broad categories we used to rank the states. We're glad people are interested, but we don't want to show too much of the innards in our Black Box for state rankings. We'd like to keep that proprietary if you don't mind. Our special sauce or secret formula, so to speak.

All of the data is publicly available ... except for office and industrial rent numbers, which were compiled by CoStar Realty Information for us at no charge.

And there's no subjectivity involved. The feature is the brain child of Scott Cohn. Believe me he ... assisted by producer Courtney Ford and some of our Web folk ... combs through the numbers and the calculations very carefully. The numbers are absolute. His big fear, actually, is that one of these days there will be a tie for first place. Since he typically goes on location to announce the winner on air, that means he'd have to figure out how to be in two places at one time.

Oh yeah ... for those of you complaining that the District of Columbia isn't included: It's not a state. We have to draw a line somewhere, otherwise Scott would have to crunch numbers for Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands as well. (Of course a stand-up on location at one of those places wouldn't be so bad, would it Scott?)

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