Research - JULY 12, 2017

Washington named America’s top state for business

by Andrea Waitrovich

Washington has been ranked the number one state for business, according to CNBC’s 11th annual list of America’s Top States for Business.

The state scored 1,621 out of a possible 2,500 points.

Washington has placed in the top 10 for the past four years and celebrates 2017 in first place. This year, the state had top-10 finishes in five of the 10 categories of competitiveness.

Washington’s economy grew 3.7 percent in 2016, the largest increase of any state and nearly 2.5 times the national rate.

In addition, the state has solid job growth and one of the hottest housing markets in the country. Washington ranked in third place for its economy, its best category in the study along with technology & innovation. Despite having no individual or corporate income tax, it took the number 37 spot for cost of living, its worst category, and ranked number 32 for cost of doing business, as the state’s wages and rents are among the highest in the country.

Georgia ranked second as among the best states for business. It ranked third in economy and technology & innovation —its highest ranking categories — and 37th in cost of living, its lowest rank in the categories.

Minnesota was ranked third, with a first place ranking in the economy category. Its lowest ranking was 33rd in the education category.

Texas ranked fourth as the top state for business and North Carolina placed fifth.

The rankings for all 50 states are available at

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