North Dakota Ranks Fifth in Top States for Business 2012

North Dakota, driven by its expanding oil economy, ranked five in CNBC's sixth annual study,"America's Top States for Business.

The announcement on CNBC's "Squawk Box"is part of the TV network's day-long countdown of the top five states in its exclusive and influential study, ranking the nation's 50 states in 10 competitive categories.

The top state, as well as the complete rankings, will be revealed by the study's creator Scott Cohnon "Closing Bell"at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET.

North Dakota, which tied for 13th in 2011, knocked Colorado from the fifth spot in the 2012 rankings. The state scored high in several categories, including economy.

The fourth-ranked state will be revealed at approximately 10:50 a.m. ET onthe "Squawk on the Street"program.

How We Score

This year's rankings are based on the same 10 categoriesas years past, but the 51 criteria have been tweaked to reflect changes in the ways the states market themselves.

This year, at the suggestion of a number of state officials, we've added state credit ratings to the criteria, which are used to help score our Economy category.

All of the data in the categories — developed with the assistance of groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness — are publicly available.

America's Top States For Business
America's Top States For Business

We like to think America’s Top States for Business is the most thorough study of state competitiveness out there, and it always generates lots of conversation, in the top states, the bottom states and everywhere in between. And this year we want to give you more opportunities than ever to talk about your state.

Let us hear from you, onFacebook, Google+ and on Twitter using the hashtag #TopStates. We’ve also invited all 50 governors to chime in and make the case for why their state should be on top.

Tell us what you think, watch this space, and watch CNBC throughout the day, as we reveal America’s Top States for Business 2012.

Which state has what it takes to be No. 1? Watch Scott Cohn on CNBC today as he reveals the top five of America’s Top States for Business 2012.