America's Top States For Business 2012


2012 Results

Featured Stories

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

  • virginia-93.jpg

    The three-time winner of the study suffered from steep declines in the individual categories of transportation and the cost of doing business. 

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    We score all the states on 51 measures of competitiveness and 10 categories, from the cost of doing business to technology and innovation.

Past Winners


  • Net Job Creation: 211,500 California managed to create jobs in all but two private-sector categories (manufacturing and general services) along with its solid growth rate. Gains in construction and financial activities partly reflect its improving real estate sector. High tech, tourism and international trade are the leading sectors. The state led the nation in job creation in June. Facebook and Zynga both went on hiring binges in the last year. On the negative side, as might be expected of a ca

    Overall payroll growth remains subpar and disappointing but these states, which include a few surprises, are showing healthy and diverse growth.

  • Most expensive metro area: Juneau House: $493,167 Movie ticket: $10.50 Rent: $1,437 Doctor visit: $156.42 Gallon of gas: $3.941 T-bone steak: $10.64

    Cost of living may not be among the top criteria for a business, but it can be a big consideration for employees. Look at the cost of a variety of items in the nation's 10 most expensive states.

  • 2012 Quality of Life Points: 246 out of 3502011 Quality of Life Rank: 7The Centennial State offers an intoxicating mix of urban flair and natural beauty. Quality of life is a Mile High. Colorado ranks as one of America’s healthiest states, with low incidences of cancer and obesity. Colorado suffers in some environmental measures, and finishes in the middle of the pack for crime, but on balance it is one of the best states in which to live.

    Hawaii’s tropical and beautiful, but some of the nation’s coldest states — including the best one in CNBC’s category – make the top in our study.

  • 2011 Ranking: 1 2010 Ranking; 1 This year, California lost its reign as the leading state in technology. Home to Silicon Valley and some of the largest technology companies -- Intel, Facebook, Google and Apple – California slipped to the number-three spot this year because of a slowdown in high-tech business formation. The Golden State still claimed the top spot, however, for most patents awarded and the most research grant money. The state also has the top-ranked broadband connectivity.

    As part of our annual study, America’s Top States for Business, we grade states on several criteria in this important category of Technology & Innovation.

  • Last year’s Homes of Governors  featured the homes of governors from the East Coast (Charles Edison, former governor of New Jersey) to the West (Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California); from the distant past (South Carolina’s Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and one home that had housed 17 South Dakota governors. This year’s edition includes the homes of contemporary governors as well as one well-known figure from the past who designed his own home. We

    Curious about where your state Governor lives? On this years’ list, we have homes ranging from mansions to relatively modest.

Top States For Business 2013

Top States For Business 2011