The Margin: This list of ‘top states for business’ in the U.S. may surprise you

United States

How does your state rank?

According to a statistical analysis by CNBC named “America’s Top States for Business 2022,” North Carolina, Washington and Virginia are among the best states in the country for business.

The analysis is not an opinion survey, but a data-driven report that measures states on 88 metrics including workforce, infrastructure, economy, cost of doing business and several others. Each state can earn a maximum of 2,500 points across all categories and then are ranked based on total points.

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Additionally, some categories are weighted higher than others. For example, “workforce” and “infrastructure” are weighted more heavily than “access to capital” and “cost of living.”

Categories are measured in a variety of ways, the report says. Cost of living, for example, measures an index of costs for basic items, and access to capital is measured by state-backed capital and loan guarantee programs.

Here are the full rankings:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Washington
  3. Virginia
  4. Colorado
  5. Texas
  6. Tennessee
  7. Nebraska
  8. Utah
  9. Minnesota
  10. Georgia
  11. Florida
  12. Iowa
  13. North Dakota
  14. Indiana
  15. Ohio
  16. Michigan
  17. Pennsylvania
  18. Oregon
  19. Illinois
  20. Idaho
  21. Kansas
  22. South Dakota
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Massachusetts
  25. Missouri
  26. Kentucky
  27. Maryland
  28. Delaware
  29. California
  30. Montana
  31. Vermont
  32. Wyoming
  33. Alabama
  34. Arizona
  35. New Hampshire
  36. New York
  37. South Carolina
  38. Oklahoma
  39. Connecticut
  40. Nevada
  41. Arkansas
  42. New Jersey
  43. Maine
  44. West Virginia
  45. Rhode Island
  46. Hawaii
  47. New Mexico
  48. Louisiana
  49. Alaska
  50. Mississippi

Only one of the states in the top five (Texas) is also among the top five in total growth domestic product (GDP), according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Some of the biggest states in the country, like California, New York and Florida, are featured much lower in these business rankings.

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“Talking to CEO after CEO, workforce is the driving force for them right now,” North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper told CNBC. “They see North Carolina as a place where they can rely on our community colleges, our greatest array of public and private universities in the country to make sure they have the workforce they need.”

The report comes as the U.S. economy is dealing with surging inflation. According to June CPI data, inflation climbed to a 41-year high of 9.1% year-over-year.

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President Biden has called the high inflation reading “unacceptably high,” and Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, said the Federal Reserve will likely have “zero patience” for such high inflation numbers, possibly signaling a benchmark interest rate increase in July or September.