Alaska can breathe easy.
The 50th state no longer ranks 50th in CNBC's Top States For Business rankings.
Rhode Island, which ranked 49th in 2010, bumped Alaska after four years at the bottom. And it wasn't even close, with Alaska managing a 32-point advantage in total score at 870.
And Alaska did it in dramatic fashion, vaulting from 41 to 3 in the Economy category. (Rhode Island moved up, as well.)
The bottom five, or worst, as we like to call them, have seen little change over the years.
Hawaii held onto 48th, as did West Virginia at 46th place.
The other big change was that Mississippi and Nevada switched spots, with the Magnolia State falling to 47th and Nevada creeping up to 45th.
- Complete 2011 Rankings
Mississippi was hurt by a drop in the important Cost of Doing Business (31/11) and Economy (39/35)catgeories, which more than offset better showings in Cost of Living(10/13) and Infrastructure & Transportation (32/45).
Nevada moved up in the Infrastructure & Transportation (25/31), Access to Capital(29/40)and Cost of Living (32/37)catgeories, but otherwise turned in a performance very similar to that of2010.
As for the bottom ten, 2011 has two entrants: New Mexico (43/38) and Vermont (44/37). Michigan (34/41) andDelaware(36/42) — thanks to their improving economies — climbed out.
Louisiana(42/44), which has finished in the bottom ten all five years, moved up, as did Alabama (41/43).
More Rankings: 2010 2009 2008 2007