CNBC News Releases

North Carolina 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

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., July 13, 2022—CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today unveiled the results of its fifteenth list of America's Top States for Business with North Carolina taking the number one position.

CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn reported today live from Crystal Pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and counted down the top five states during CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) and on CNBC Digital. Coverage of America's Top States for Business will continue on-air and online through CNBC's Business Day programming today.

North Carolina finishes on top, scoring 1,580 out of 2,500 points, thanks to what CNBC rates as America's strongest state economy, with robust job growth, solid public finances, and a healthy housing market. As a major banking center, the state finishes second only to California in the list's Access to Capital category, and the home of one of the nation's oldest research and development hubs—the famed Research Triangle Park—finishes 5th for Technology & Innovation. Even the Top States aren't perfect, however. As one of only five states with no statewide antidiscrimination laws, North Carolina finishes 28th for Life, Health & Inclusion. And the state's surging growth drops it to number 26 for Cost of Doing Business.

"Time and again, the leadership in North Carolina has managed to put aside deep political divisions to forge a solid economy and an outstanding business climate," Cohn said. "That cooperation is proving to be especially valuable during these complicated times and it may have also helped the state's ranking. North Carolina has finished in the top ten 13 out of the last 14 years, and now it's finally reached the top."

CNBC Digital offers a detailed analysis of how North Carolina 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, lists and videos including the best and worst states to live in, the least and most expensive states in 2022, among others.

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

CNBC's exclusive study scores all 50 states on 88 metrics across ten categories of competitiveness. The methodology grades the states based on the qualities they deem most important in attracting business. To do that, CNBC assigns a weight to each of the ten categories by analyzing every state's economic development marketing materials. The more frequently a selling point appears, the more weight it carries in the study.

America's Top 5 States for Business:

1.     North Carolina

2.     Washington

3.     Virginia

4.     Colorado

5.     Texas

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