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August 24, 2006
Forbes Ranks Best States for Business

Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina are the top three states for business, according to a ranking by Forbes magazine.

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The magazine ranked states in the following categories:

  • Business costs (costs of labor, energy, and taxes)
  • Labor pool (educational attainment of the workforce, net migration, and projected population growth)
  • Regulatory environment
  • Economic climate (growth in jobs, income, and gross state product)
  • Growth prospects
  • Quality of life (schools, health, crime, cost of living, and poverty rates).

The magazine ranks Virginia in the top 10 in all six categories, which gives the commonwealth the number one ranking overall. The magazine's ranking has Texas and North Carolina as the next best states for business. Utah and Colorado round out the top five in the overall ranking.

Wyoming holds the top ranking in the category of business costs, but comes in at 23rd in the magazine's overall ranking.

The magazine gives New Hampshire the top ranking in the labor category, the second best ranking in the category of quality of life, and names the Granite State the 18th best state for business.

Virginia has the best regulatory environment and Arizona has the best economic climate, according to the ranking. Meanwhile, Colorado tops the category of growth prospects. The magazine ranks Iowa as best in the category of quality of life.

The top 10 on Forbes's list of the Best States for Business:

  1. Virginia
  2. Texas
  3. North Carolina
  4. Utah
  5. Colorado
  6. Idaho
  7. Nebraska
  8. Delaware
  9. Florida
  10. Georgia

The bottom 10 on Forbes's list of the Best States for Business:

41. Pennsylvania
42. Hawaii
43. Rhode Island
44. Illinois
45. Michigan
46. Maine
47. Alaska
48. Mississippi
49. West Virginia
50. Louisiana

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