25. California

The Golden State sets the standard for technology and innovation, but affordability is a key concern.

California wine.
Getty Images
California wine.
2018 Rank
2017 Rank
Workforce 261 12 10 B+
Infrastructure 203 24 22 C+
Cost of Doing Business 74 48 49 F
Economy 216 11 22 (Tie) A-
Quality of Life 183 21 21 C
Technology & Innovation 181 1 2 A+
Education 89 32 28 D+
Business Friendliness 8 50 50 F
Access to Capital 100 1 1 A+
Cost of Living 2 49 48 F
Overall 1317 25 28 -

Economic Profile

Governor: Jerry Brown, Democrat

Population: 39,536,653

GDP growth (Q4 2017): 3.4 percent

Unemployment rate (May 2018): 4.2

Top corporate tax rate: 8.84 percent

Top individual income tax rate: 12.3 percent

Gasoline tax: 41.70 cents/gallon

Bond rating: (Moody's/S&P): Aa3, stable/AA-, stable

Major private employers: Kaiser Permanente, Apple

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

  • CNBC and Institutional Investor is hosting the 9th Annual Delivering Alpha Conference

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

  • 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.