North Carolina Places Fourth in CNBC's Top States for Business 2012

North Carolinawas named the fourth best state in which to do business in CNBC's sixth annual study, "America's Top States for Business.”

The Tar Heel State, which slipped from No. 3 in 2011, joined North Dakota in the top five.

North Carolina also fared well in several individual categories, such as Workforce, Transportation, and Technology.

The top state, as well as the complete rankings, will be revealed by study creator Scott Cohn on "Closing Bell"at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT, as part of the network’s day-long countdown of the top five states in its exclusive and influential study.

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

The third-ranked state will be revealed at approximately 1:40 p.m. EDT on the"Power Lunch"program.

In ranking fifth, North Dakota, which tied for 13th in 2011, knocked out Colorado. The state’s ascent is partly a result of its booming oil-shale economy.

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.

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.

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