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America's Top States For Business 2012

2012 OVERALL RANKINGS



  • Overall Rankings 2012 Thursday, 11 Oct 2012 | 3:43 PM ET
  • Map: Top States for Business Thursday, 23 May 2013 | 12:35 PM ET

    How does your state stack up in CNBC's Top States for Business 2012 Report? Click on the map to find out how your state ranks business friendliness, quality of life and more.

2012 Results

Featured Stories

  • Utah Moved Up Six Spots to Finish Second Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 2:29 PM ET

    Utah moved up six spots to finish second in CNBC's sixth annual study,  thanks to high rankings in the categories of workforce, transportation and the cost of doing business.

  • Virginia Drops From First to Third Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 1:47 PM ET

    The three-time winner of the study suffered from steep declines in the individual categories of transportation and the cost of doing business. 

  • North Carolina Lands as Fourth Top State Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 12:05 PM ET

    The state, which actually slid from third in 2011, still ranked high in several key categories, such as workforce, technology and transportation. 

  • North Dakota Speeds All the Way to Fifth Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 8:19 AM ET

    The state, which tied for 13th in 2011, scored high in four categories: economy, workforce, business friendliness and quality of life.

  • Categories and Criteria Wednesday, 11 Jul 2012 | 8:08 AM ET

    We score all the states on 51 measures of competitiveness and 10 categories, from the cost of doing business to technology and innovation.

  • Mitt Romney

    The Romney campaign is touting Mitt Romney's “record of success” as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 as a reason to elect him president, but CNBC's Top States for Business tells a more nuanced story about his record.

Commentary

  • Virginia is for big companies and its best talent spoiled by long-term government contracts., while Massachusetts' Cambridge is now the hottest place for start-ups in the country.

  • Montana landed right in the middle of the pack in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business” at #24. Here’s why: Montana is both the best of states and the worst of states for doing business.

  • Florida's Not Just for Retirement: LaVigne Thursday, 12 Jul 2012 | 8:45 PM ET
    Woman in hammock using laptop

    In the new economy, remote access and quality of life will be king, and for that, Florida is a very unique option. Where else in the country can you find all that Florida has to offer — climate, ocean, airports, hotels, housing, healthcare and infrastructure

  • Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker

    Wisconsin has implemented long-term reforms to ensure the delivery of vital services, and invested in things like infrastructure, technology and education, says Gov. Scott Walker, but  business needs more measures to create stability and drive growth.

  • Why I Moved My Business from Ohio to Texas: Greenleaf  Thursday, 12 Jul 2012 | 12:02 PM ET

    There were a number of reasons we left Ohio, but the two biggest were that hiring was difficult and the taxes were absurdly high, says Clint Greenleaf,  CEO of Greenleaf Book Group  and CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network Member

  • Oklahoma a 'Go-To' State for Business: Fallin Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 10:16 AM ET
    Oklahoma City Skyline

    Oklahoma is earning national recognition through our efforts to enact pro-business policies that have created an environment friendly to job creation, says Governor Mary Fallin.

  • Baltimore, Maryland

    Maryland routinely ranks behind Virginia and North Carolina in CNBC's "Top States for Business" study because of a poor showing in these two areas, says Larry Hogan, chairman of Change Maryland.

Past Winners

Top States Correspondent

  • Scott Cohn Friday, 12 Mar 2010 | 2:17 AM ET

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

Slideshows

  • America's Top States for Job Creation 2012 Wednesday, 11 Jul 2012 | 9:46 AM ET
    Net Job Creation: 211,500 California managed to create jobs in all but two private-sector categories (manufacturing and general services) along with its solid growth rate. Gains in construction and financial activities partly reflect its improving real estate sector. High tech, tourism and international trade are the leading sectors. The state led the nation in job creation in June. Facebook and Zynga both went on hiring binges in the last year. On the negative side, as might be expected of a ca

    Overall payroll growth remains subpar and disappointing but these states, which include a few surprises, are showing healthy and diverse growth.

  • Most Expensive States to Live in 2012 Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 4:30 PM ET
    Most expensive metro area: Juneau House: $493,167 Movie ticket: $10.50 Rent: $1,437 Doctor visit: $156.42 Gallon of gas: $3.941 T-bone steak: $10.64

    Cost of living may not be among the top criteria for a business, but it can be a big consideration for employees. Look at the cost of a variety of items in the nation's 10 most expensive states.

  • America’s Best States to Live in 2012 Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 4:30 PM ET
    2012 Quality of Life Points: 246 out of 3502011 Quality of Life Rank: 7The Centennial State offers an intoxicating mix of urban flair and natural beauty. Quality of life is a Mile High. Colorado ranks as one of America’s healthiest states, with low incidences of cancer and obesity. Colorado suffers in some environmental measures, and finishes in the middle of the pack for crime, but on balance it is one of the best states in which to live.

    Hawaii’s tropical and beautiful, but some of the nation’s coldest states — including the best one in CNBC’s category – make the top in our study.

  • The Top 10 States For Technology Tuesday, 10 Jul 2012 | 4:30 PM ET
    2011 Ranking: 1 2010 Ranking; 1 This year, California lost its reign as the leading state in technology. Home to Silicon Valley and some of the largest technology companies -- Intel, Facebook, Google and Apple – California slipped to the number-three spot this year because of a slowdown in high-tech business formation. The Golden State still claimed the top spot, however, for most patents awarded and the most research grant money. The state also has the top-ranked broadband connectivity.

    As part of our annual study, America’s Top States for Business, we grade states on several criteria in this important category of Technology & Innovation.

  • Homes of Governors 2012 Monday, 9 Jul 2012 | 4:29 PM ET
    Last year’s Homes of Governors  featured the homes of governors from the East Coast (Charles Edison, former governor of New Jersey) to the West (Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California); from the distant past (South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and one home that had housed 17 South Dakota governors. This year’s edition includes the homes of contemporary governors as well as one well-known figure from the past who designed his own home. We

    Curious about where your state Governor lives? On this years’ list, we have homes ranging from mansions to relatively modest.

America's Top States For Business

Top States For Business 2011

Overall State Cost of Business Workforce Quality of Life Economy Infrastructure & Transp. Technology & Innovation Education Business Friendliness Access to Capital Cost of Living
1 Texas 28 7 35 5 1 2 26 12 8 3
2 Utah 11 9 10 7 8 24 45 10 13 6
3 Virginia 32 8 16 10 33 14 13 3 9 20
4 North Carolina 21 3 26 31 11 9 13 8 18 21
5 North Dakota 16 10 5 2 15 47 19 4 43 28
6 Nebraska 13 19 13 9 19 34 18 6 32 11
7 South Dakota 3 14 7 12 27 46 22 1 48 30
8 Colorado 40 5 8 33 23 8 27 8 4 33
9 Georgia 14 1 36 30 3 17 34 15 20 16
10 Wyoming 10 20 9 1 26 48 11 20 35 27
11 Minnesota 25 31 5 16 2 18 11 23 15 35
12 Iowa 5 37 19 3 31 28 30 10 28 19
13 Idaho 7 5 22 23 23 38 48 12 32 9
14 Indiana 16 26 40 11 18 23 25 5 37 7
15 Kansas 35 18 24 14 6 30 21 16 25 10
16 Tennessee 27 11 48 12 4 25 41 6 29 2
17 Wisconsin 15 43 14 34 6 20 10 27 27 23
18 Oregon 23 34 17 37 16 15 40 17 13 38
19 New Hampshire 35 44 1 34 46 26 8 2 19 40
20 Arkansas 2 11 43 20 31 41 28 32 40 5
21 Washington 37 21 15 45 36 5 13 36 3 36
22 Arizona 34 2 32 44 9 21 49 14 22 34
23 Oklahoma 4 21 37 17 37 32 37 22 35 1
24 Montana 7 47 18 18 14 39 16 41 42 31
25 Ohio 6 49 44 31 10 16 23 37 17 15
26 Illinois 26 32 31 45 16 4 17 46 11 18
27 Missouri 12 38 37 29 20 21 20 25 37 14
28 Massachusetts 49 32 11 21 45 7 3 29 1 41
29 Florida 39 3 30 47 11 11 42 27 24 25
30 Pennsylvania 41 48 33 26 35 5 7 30 6 32
31 Maryland 42 24 29 24 43 10 9 24 7 43
32 South Carolina 22 15 41 25 21 26 46 35 30 24
33 Michigan 29 38 34 28 25 12 38 34 21 12
34 New York 47 41 28 22 39 1 1 50 5 47
35 Maine 19 45 4 42 42 35 6 21 46 39
36 (tie) New Mexico 31 25 24 15 13 32 46 47 26 29
36 (tie) Kentucky 1 29 45 38 22 31 35 41 45 4
38 Alabama 20 26 47 6 29 35 43 30 41 13
39 Vermont 38 41 3 27 48 43 4 25 23 42
40 California 48 23 20 43 30 3 33 43 1 46
41 New Jersey 43 28 20 39 41 13 4 48 11 45
42 Louisiana 9 16 50 36 40 28 35 40 43 17
43 Delaware 32 36 49 19 27 40 31 19 30 37
44 Connecticut 46 40 12 40 43 18 2 33 15 48
45 Nevada 30 13 46 50 5 44 50 18 34 22
46 Mississippi 18 17 41 48 34 42 44 44 48 8
47 Alaska 44 30 26 4 37 50 32 39 48 49
48 West Virginia 24 50 39 7 47 49 29 44 46 26
49 Hawaii 50 35 2 41 49 45 39 37 39 50
50 Rhode Island 45 46 23 49 50 37 23 49 10 44

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