Texas falls to No. 4 in America's Top States for Business

For the first time in 11 years, Texas finished outside of the top two spots in our America's Top States for Business rankings. This year the Lone Star State fell to No. 4, down two spots from last year. The state scored 1,602 points out of 2,500 in our annual study.

George Kavallines | CNBC

It's no surprise. Falling oil prices stunted the economy — Texas has diversified considerably, but energy is still the major industry — pushing unemployment above the national average, despite being among the fastest in the nation to add jobs. As a result, the state dropped in the Economy category from No. 1 to 25.

Still, Texas remains a juggernaut, with America's top workforce and best infrastructure.

No. 5: North Carolina

George Kavallines | CNBC

North Carolina yet again holds on to the No. 5 spot in this year's America's Top States for Business ranking, with a score of 1,568 points out of a possible 2,500 in our study. The Tar Heel State's best category is Technology & Innovation, moving up one spot this year to No. 6 from No. 7. It also moved up two notches from No. 9 last year to No. 7, clinching another top 10 finish in the Workforce category.

Quality of Life is where North Carolina continues to fall short in our rankings, still sitting in the bottom half, at No. 28. As well, state budget cuts in school spending dropped North Carolina four spots, to No. 32, in Education. And despite the repeal of the state's controversial "bathroom bill," it is still 1 of only 5 states with no antidiscrimination laws for non-disabled people.

Top States Past Year Rankings

  • CNBC unveils its 11th annual America's Top States for Business ranking for 2017, scoring all 50 states on 10 key measures of competitiveness.

  • Top States promos Arm Wrestling

    CNBC unveils its 10th annual America's Top States for Business ranking, scoring all 50 states on 10 key measures of competitiveness.

  • Top States 2015

    CNBC unveils its 9th annual America's Top States for Business. See where your state ranks.

Latest Special Reports

  • senior couple on beach

    A fixed-income strategy is key for investors who are retired or are approaching retirement. This special report details the range of tools and strategies used to manage a fixed income portfolio.

  • A look at 50 private companies set to reshape the business landscape.

  • Trading Nation

    Where headlines become opportunities.