CNBC News Releases

Utah is America’s Top State for Business, According to CNBC Exclusive Study

CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn Revealed America's Top Five States for Business Today on CNBC & CNBC Digital

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., July 12, 2016—CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today unveiled the results of its tenth annual list of America's Top States for Business with Utah taking top honors. The new champion scored 1,598 out of 2,500 points.

CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn reported today live from Utah's Antelope Island State Park in the Great Salt Lake, and counted down the top five states throughout CNBC's Business Day programming and on CNBC Digital. Coverage of America's Top States for Business will continue on-air and online through Wednesday, July 13th.

Utah has continued to place in the top ten every year of this study and 2016 is no different. The Beehive state celebrates the study's 10th year in first place. Utah's best category is economy, where it places third. The worst category for the state is access to capital. Utah's individual and corporate taxes are both 5% and the state and local sales taxes top out at 8.35%. Unemployment in Utah is well below the national average, with some of the strongest job growth in the nation.

"In the ten years we have been doing this study, Utah has always been a contender. But this year, the state truly outdid itself," Cohn said. "It is the first time in the history of our study that a winning state has finished in the top half of each of our ten categories. That means that Utah is relatively strong even in its weakest areas."

CNBC Digital offers a detailed analysis of how Utah claimed the top spot including a complete economic snapshot (employment, budget, tax and housing data). The rankings for all 50 states are available at In addition, the site also has exclusive stories and slideshows including the best and worst states to live in, the least and most expensive states, and the smartest states in 2016, among others.

Follow us on Twitter @CNBC and take part in the social conversation surrounding CNBC's Top States coverage using hashtag #TopStates.

To determine the rankings for America's Top States for Business, each state was scored—using publicly available data—on more than 60 different measures of competitiveness. We developed our methodology with input from a broad and diverse array of business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves. A full list of sources that were used for this year's data can be found here. States received points based on their rankings in each metric, which were then separated into ten broad categories. The categories are weighted based on how frequently it is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials. That way, we grade the states on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

America's Top 5 States for Business:

1. Utah (Highest Rank - #3 in Economy; Lowest Rank - #24 in Access to Capital)

2. Texas (Highest Rank - #1 in Economy; Lowest Rank - #40 in Education)

3. Colorado (Highest Rank - #1 in Workforce; Lowest Rank - #37 in Cost of Doing Business)

4. Minnesota (Highest Rank - #2 in Quality of Life and Education; Lowest Rank - #35 in Cost of Doing Business)

5. North Carolina (Highest Rank - #2 in Access to Capital; Lowest Rank - #30 in Infrastructure and Quality of Life)

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