3. North Carolina

With steady growth and a strong state balance sheet, the economy is flying high. But quality of life can be rough.

North Carolina state flag painted on a wall
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2019 Rank
2018 Rank
Workforce 312 7 9 A-
Economy 307 1 6 A+
Infrastructure 193 17 21 B
Cost of Doing Business 208 21 16 B+
Quality of Life 140 35 28 D
Education 98 21 37 B-
Technology & Innovation 126 9 11 A-
Business Friendliness 105 17 23 B-
Access to Capital 65 6 9 A-
Cost of Living 32 19 18 B-
Overall 1586 3 9 -

Economic Profile

Governor: Roy Cooper, Democrat

Population: 10,383,620

GDP growth (Q4 2018): 1.9%

Unemployment rate (May 2019): 4.1%

Top corporate tax rate: 2.5%

Top individual income tax rate: 5.25%

Gasoline tax: 36.45 cents/gallon

Bond rating (Moody's/S&P): Aaa, stable/AAA, stable

Major private employers: Wal-Mart, Bank of America

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

Best | Worst

  • HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 26: United States fans celebrate with a USA banner in game action during a friendly International match between Chile and the United States on March 26, 2019 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    The war between the states for business and jobs has never been more intense, with states paying staggering amounts of taxpayer dollars to woo companies. Here is the ranking of America's Top States for Business in 2019, released by CNBC today.

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    By the numbers, these are America's worst states for business, according to a 2019 CNBC ranking released today. They received low marks for the quality of their workforce, business-friendliness, education and economic growth.

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    Analyzing the data from the CNBC America's Top States for Business study, we reveal the 10 states that get the highest marks for low crime, inclusiveness, a strong health system and a healthy environment.


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.

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