40. Arkansas

Costs are low in the Natural State, but when it comes to quality of life, you get what you pay for.

A farmer surveys a rice crop in Arkansas. 
Bill Barksdale | Getty Images
A farmer surveys a rice crop in Arkansas. 
Category
Score
2018 Rank
2017 Rank
Grade
Workforce 186 43 37 C-
Infrastructure 231 12 12 (Tie) B
Cost of Doing Business 257 1 7 (Tie) A+
Economy 127 39 32 D+
Quality of Life 81 50 47 F
Technology & Innovation 57 47 48 F
Education 66 42 38 D-
Business Friendliness 53 40 39 D+
Access to Capital 29 36 32 (Tie) D
Cost of Living 49 2 4 A+
Overall 1136 40 41 -

Economic Profile

Governor: Asa Hutchinson, Republican

Population: 3,004,279

GDP growth (Q4 2017): 2.5 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2018): 3.8 percent

Top corporate tax rate: 6.5 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 6.9 percent

Gasoline tax: 21.50 cents/gallon

Bond rating: (Moody's/S&P): Aa1, stable/AA, stable

Major private employers: Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart Stores

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 (excluding 18.40 cent/gallon federal tax), Moody's Investor Service, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Top States Past Year Rankings

  • CNBC unveils its 12th annual America's Top States for Business study. See where your state ranks in 2018.

  • 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.

Latest Special Reports

  • Innovative female entrepreneur examining prototype

    In an era of rapid technological advances and demographic change, how do legacy companies adapt, innovate and evolve? CNBC Evolve features iconic global companies and executives who are embracing change and transforming for the future.

  • working together

    CNBC Upstart 100 is a new original list of the bright young startups poised to become the great companies of tomorrow.

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