Utah Jumps to Second in CNBC's Top States for Business 2012

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

Utah moved up six spots to finish second in CNBC's sixth annual study, "America's Top States for Business,” thanks to high rankings in the categories of workforce, transportation and the cost of doing business.

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.

The other states to make the top five are:Virginia, No. 3; North Carolina, No. 4; andNorth Dakota,No. 5.

Utah, which made the top five in 2009, 2008 and 2007, easily outscored Virginia for the No. 2 spot this year, but its point total was well below the winner.

Thus far, the biggest surprises are Utah and North Dakota, which tied for 13th in 2011.

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. We’re also inviting all 50 governors to chime in and make the case for why their state should be on top.

Which state has what it takes to be No. 1? Watch Scott Cohn on CNBC at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT today, as he reveals America’s Top States for Business 2012.