9. Iowa

The sky’s the limit for business in the low-cost Hawkeye State. But too many educated workers are migrating elsewhere.

Top States Iowa
Source: George Kavallines
2016 Rank
2015 Rank
Workforce 190 37 44 (Tie)
Cost of Doing Business 262 2 8
Infrastructure 200 16 (Tie) 28 (Tie)
Economy 174 29 10
Quality of Life 233 9 9 (Tie)
Technology & Innovation 135 23 24 (Tie)
Education 118 17 18 (Tie)
Business Friendliness 91 15 (Tie) 19 (Tie)
Cost of Living 59 12 14
Access to Capital 11 40 (Tie) 39 (Tie)
Overall 1473 9 10

Economic Profile

Governor: Terry Branstad, Republican

Population: 3,123,899

GDP growth: 0.8 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2016): 3.9 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 12 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 8.98 percent

Gasoline tax: 50.40 cents/gallon

Bond rating/outlook: Aaa, stable

Major private employers: Hy-Vee Food Stores, Principal Financial Group

Economic profile sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody's Investor Service, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Latest Special Reports

  • Watch investments

    Covering the full set of tools and strategies for long-term investors: How to take everyday market fluctuations in stride, and when to know it’s time to take action or protect against a major economic shifts.

  • A globe-trotting look at the world of investing, from developed Europe and Asia trends to the least-traveled frontier markets.

  • The nexus of technology -- cloud, social, mobile and data -- are transforming user behaviors and creating new businesses.