Not all businesses are created equal and not all states are as business-friendly as others.

To find out where companies have the best chances of thriving, CNBC scored all 50 states on 86 metrics in 10 different categories:

  • Workforce
  • Infrastructure
  • Economy
  • Life, Health & Inclusion
  • Cost of Doing Business
  • Tech & Innovation
  • Business Friendliness
  • Education
  • Access to Capital
  • Cost of Living

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federation of Tax Administrators, American Petroleum Institute, Moody’s Investor Service, and S&P Global Market Intelligence, CNBC then ranked America’s Top States for Business.

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In the Tri-State (South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota) area, one state landed near the top.

Minnesota is number-five in the nation, thanks to Top 5 rankings in infrastructure (#3), life, health, and innovation (#4), and tech and innovation (#4).

The North Star State had two bottom-half rankings in business friendliness (#30) and the cost of doing business (#39).


  1. North Carolina
  2. Virginia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Georgia
  5. Minnesota
  6. Texas
  7. Washington
  8. Florida
  9. Utah
  10. Michigan

Iowa checked in just above the midway point, at number 23 overall.

The Hawkeye State leads the nation in the most affordable cost of living. It scored bottom-half rankings in business friendliness (#33), access to capital (#35), and economy (#42).

South Dakota landed in the bottom half of the 50 states at 34th overall.

The Mount Rushmore State had one Top 10 showing (#2 in business friendliness) and bottom-half rankings in infrastructure (#31), life, health and inclusion (#31), access to capital (#37), tech and innovation (#42), and workforce (#47).

Alaska is dead last on the list, with rankings at or near the bottom in five of the ten categories.


  1. Alaska
  2. Louisiana
  3. Mississippi
  4. Hawaii
  5. West Virginia
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Arkansas
  8. New Mexico
  9. Alabama
  10. Oklahoma

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